A well-defined ontology that bridges between regional and functional perspectives on common substance-related data objects and global and scientifically objective representations is required. The goal of our project is to build an IDMP Ontology that enables deep, semantic interoperability based on FAIR principles to enhance and augment the existing ISO IDMP standards.

Why is this important?

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) will be the first health agency to mandate compliance with ISO IDMP (Q4, 2024), with the FDA not far behind. Governance of essential IDMP standards and implementations is not assigned to a specific, overarching governing body. Diverging implementations of IDMP across geographical regions and jurisdictional domains are already causing inconsistencies in the interpretation across implementing organizations. Given that there is no semantic alignment between regulatory bodies, there exists a risk that regulatory compliance needs will lead to large integration and interoperability costs and that the benefits from IDMP in drug safety, innovation, and other areas will not be fully realized. Rather than concentrating on the discovery of new medicines, organizations will be struggling with data issues, e.g., the need to map product data across the organization, throughout the product lifecycle.

What will the project achieve?

Due to our robust framework for pre-competitive collaboration. The Pistoia Alliance was selected to manage this initiative with the goal of creating an ontology that demonstrates added value to the ISO IDMP standards for data usability across organizational boundaries and regulatory jurisdictions. We have pulled together a core team consisting of Pharmaceutical stakeholders, regulatory bodies, standards organizations, non-profit groups, and solutions providers for this project.

The key objectives  for the project include:


  1. Provide a digital, machine-processable standard.
    – The Pdf document provided by EMA is not enough as different groups implement it differently
  2. Solve ambiguities of the ISO IDMP standards enabling feed improvements back to ISO through systematic reviews
  3. Bridge different views with ONE product data model between internal pharma departments and between industry groups
  4. Provide a vendor-agnostic, and open-source model. The ontology is fully standards-based without any proprietary aspects
  5. Reduce implementation effort through a common core


The IDMP Ontology Releases are available here, with the MIT open source license.
Find out more at the following links:


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