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ZLB Bioplasma Inc. Completes First Phase Of Company's New Barcoding System, Further Improving The Safety Of Its Product Portfolio


10/19/2005 5:10:13 PM

Barcode Readable NDC Numbers Now Available on all ZLB Products Sold in the U.S.

GLENDALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 1, 2004-- Carrying on its legacy of making continuous, industry-leading patient safety enhancements, ZLB Bioplasma Inc. today announced that barcodes containing clearly decipherable National Drug Code (NDC) numbers on labels and cartons are now present on every ZLB product shipped to the U.S. Since Jan. 1, 2004, all packages leaving ZLB's manufacturing facilities in Berne, Switzerland, have included the 10-digit, three-segment numbers, allowing healthcare professionals to verify that the right drug is being given to the right patient in the right way (i.e., form, dose, time).

ZLB's announcement comes on the heels of the FDA's final ruling on Feb. 25 requiring barcodes on most medicines and all blood and blood products already approved by the FDA within two years; new medications covered by the rule will have to include bar codes within 60 days of their approval. By implementing barcodes well ahead of the FDA's deadline, ZLB has already enabled hospitals and other end-users with barcode reading instruments installed in their medication administration systems to now use ZLB's products directly -- without having to generate barcodes and labels internally.

"ZLB continuously invests in the development of new technologies for additional layers of safety, and prides itself on staying many steps ahead of the safety curve," said Craig Mendelsohn, M.D., J.D., medical director at ZLB Bioplasma Inc. "Continuing to deliver on our safety promise, ZLB added barcodes to all of its products as soon as possible following the FDA's proposed ruling."

Numerous studies have demonstrated that barcoding of medications at the patient's bedside significantly reduces the occurrence of medication errors in hospitals and other healthcare settings. Moreover, all along the supply chain, from points of diagnosis and prescription of a medication, to distribution and final drug administration, electronic control and documentation systems are proving to be powerful tools in reducing potential patient hazards.

ZLB plans to start implementing the second phase of its barcoding initiative during the second half of 2004. Upon completion, ZLB's barcodes will also contain variable data like the batch number and expiration date on all labels and product cartons, further supporting hospitals in their efforts to optimize electronic documentation and material handling within their drug supply chains. Advocated by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), these steps are essential to assure that medications that have been recalled or have expired are not given to patients.

ZLB and the FDA Ruling

Prior to the FDA entering its proposed barcoding mandate into the Federal Register in March 2003, ZLB Bioplasma participated actively in a Task Force on Barcoding of the Parenteral Drug Association (PDA) that was created to coordinate an industry response to the FDA's proposed rule.

About ZLB Bioplasma

ZLB Bioplasma Inc. is a major source of intravenous immunoglobulin (human) -- IGIV -- and other specialty plasma-derived products for the U.S. The company's focus is on helping the U.S. healthcare community improve the quality of life for patients by providing a steady supply of safe and effective immunology-based therapies and related services.

The products distributed by ZLB Bioplasma Inc. are developed and produced by ZLB Bioplasma AG (Bern, Switzerland). U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-licensed products to be used in the U.S. are produced exclusively from plasma from U.S. donors. ZLB Bioplasma AG, originally a laboratory of the Swiss Red Cross, has over 50 years of experience in plasma fractionation. The company developed the first intact IGIV product in 1979 and is the only manufacturer to offer an uninterrupted supply since that time.

ZLB Bioplasma is a wholly owned subsidiary of CSL Limited, a leading biotechnology and biopharmaceutical company founded in 1916 in Melbourne, Australia.

ZLB Bioplasma's products are available nationally through wholesalers, distributors and group purchasing organizations or direct from ZLB Bioplasma Inc. For more information, visit www.zlbusa.com or call 866-244-2ZLB (2952).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Contact:
FischerHealth Inc.
Rum Ekhtiar/Jill Hoffman, 310-577-7870
rum@fischerhealth.com / jhoffman@fischerhealth.com

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Source: ZLB Bioplasma Inc.



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