Generic Product Identifier

The Generic Product Identifier (GPI) is a 14-character hierarchical classification system that identifies drugs from their primary therapeutic use down to the unique interchangeable product regardless of manufacturer or package size. The code consists of seven subsets, each providing increasingly more specific information about a drug available with a prescription in the United States.

The first six characters of the GPI define the therapeutic class code, the next two pairs the drug name, and the last four define route, dosage or strength. For example GPI 58-20-00-60-10-01-05 is for the drug nortriptyline HCl cap 10 mg (an antidepressant) and can be further classified as follows:[1]

GPI Coding Example
58 Drug group Antidepressants
58-20 Drug class Tricyclic agents
58-20-00 Drug sub-class
58-20-00-60 Drug name Nortriptyline
58-20-00-60-10 Drug name extension Hydrochloride
58-20-00-60-10-01 Dosage form Capsule
58-20-00-60-10-01-05 Strength 10 mg

Alternate drug classification systems include the AHFS Drug Information brand run by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and First DataBank's Generic Sequence Number (GSN).

Wolters Kluwer provides a database under the Medi-Span brand called Medispan Electronic Drug File that links this code to other prescription drug classification codes commonly used for payment and analysis in the United States Health Care System, as well as embedded drug information like adverse drug effects.


  1. ^ Miller, Susan C.; Gozalo, Pedro; Mor, Vincent (1 March 2000). "Appendix A. Data and Variables Used for Hospice in Nursing Facility Analyses". Outcomes and Utilization for Hospice and Non-Hospice Nursing Facility Decedents (Report). Washington, DC: Office of The Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Drug Data.