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This is a short list of the most commonly used abbreviations and terms used in Life Sciences. I will update this every now and then. If you have questions or comments or abbreviations not on the list, let me know!



Abbreviation for a prespription and in some contexts also for prescrition drugs
genericA generic drug or "Generic" is a pharmaceutical product that is not protected by a patent anymore. Those products are typically sold via the name of the active ingredient (e.g. Acetylsalicylic Acid = A.S.S. rather than Aspirin) or generic name, thus the name.



A drug that doesn't require a prespription but is sold over the counter, so basically non-Rx.

Be careful not to confuse this with Order-to-Cash, abbreviated OTC as well or O2C. People might use the same abbreviation for both terms.

APIActive Pharmaceutical Ingredient

UDIUnique Device Identifyer

used for medical devices

GMPGood Manufacturing Practice

GLPGood Laboratory Practice

GDPGood Distribution Practice

summarizing GMP and GLP and all the other flavors

GAMPGood Automated Manufacturing Practice

GAMP is a guide for the validation of automated systems in pharmaceutical Manufacturing and was issued by the UK Pharmaceutical Industry Computer Validation Forum. It is often used by companies to guide them through a validation project. see:

CFRCode of Federal Regulation

US laws, covers for example GMP guidelines, e.g. the rule for electrionic records and signatures can be found in 21 CFR Part 11.


Part of the CFR covering digital and electronic signatures

NDCNational Drug Code

used for any national code used to identify pharmaceutical products, often used for the US NDC specifically

FDAFood and Drug Administration

even though other countries also run an FDA, this typically relates to the US FDA

MoHMinistry of Health

NDANew Drug Application

the application you have to submit to register a new drug. Careful not to mix this up with a Non-Disclosure Agreement.


Comuter Aided (or assisted) NDA


abbreviated NDA


Prescription Drug Marketing Act

CMOContract Manufacturing OrganizationCompany that manufactures a certain product on behalf of another company
MESManufacturing Execution SystemA computer system used to manage the productio activitities (both manual and automated) on the plant floor
LIMSLaboratory Information Management SystemA computer system used to manage laboratory tasks (like chemical analysis for quality control), manages the resulting data and ultimately the batch characteristics.
CPVContinued Process Verification

You can find pretty good (at least in most cases) explanaitions in wikipedia of course. Also, here is a nice list: