National Drug Code

Updated: 29 February 2024

What Does National Drug Code Mean?

The National Drug Code (NDC) is a code that was created and is updated regularly by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This code identifies prescription and non-prescription drugs by a 10-digit number. In the context of insurance, insurance companies often only cover certain drugs on the National Drug Code.

Insuranceopedia Explains National Drug Code

Prescription drugs can be very expensive. So, whether or not they are covered by insurance can be extremely relevant for the insurance policyholder. If a particular drug is not covered by insurance, and a patient needs it, he or she could be forced to pay a lot of money out of pocket to obtain the drug. Oftentimes, insurance companies will only cover prescription drugs listed with a National Drug Code, and not non-prescription drugs.

The National Drug Code is similar to a bar code, in that each unique NDC represents a different product. The numbers consist of codes for the manufacturer or distributor (known as the labeler), the specific product and package details. The labeler code is assigned by the FDA, while the other numbers are assigned by the labeler.

Go back to top