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Update Notes


MEPS MEPS HC-118A: 2008 Prescribed Medicines


Update #4: 2/02/18

A problem was discovered with the linking between the MEPS Prescribed Medicines files and the Cerner Multum file that resulted in some incorrect therapeutic classes being assigned. The Multum Lexicon Addendum files (HC-068) contain the corrected therapeutic classes. Analysts should use caution when using the Cerner Multum therapeutic class variables for analysis and should always check for accuracy, because the Multum classification has been changed by the addition of new classes and subclasses, and by changes in the hierarchy of classes. See the documentation for the Multum Lexicon Addendum files for examples.

The Multum Lexicon Addendum files (HC-068) also contain an additional variable not in the 1996 through 2012 MEPS Prescribed Medicines files: the generic name of the drug most commonly used by prescribing physicians.


Update #3: 11/22/13

STATA Programming Statements have been added.


Update #2: 06/28/13

A problem was discovered with the linking between the MEPS Prescribed Medicines files and the Cerner Multum file that resulted in some incorrect therapeutic classes being assigned. In particular, some diagnostic tests and medical devices were inadvertently assigned to be in a therapeutic class when they should not have been. Specifically, from 1996-2002, some diabetic supplies were assigned to be in TC1S1=101 (sex hormone), and from 2003 through 2010 some diabetic supplies were assigned to be in TC1S1=37 (toxiods). In addition, starting in 2006, NDC 00169750111 should have been assigned to TC1=358 and TC1S1=99. Analysts should use caution when using the Cerner Multum therapeutic class variables for analysis and should always check for accuracy, because there may be additional problems not described in this user note.


Update #1: 10/25/11

Users should carefully review the therapeutic classification variables when conducting trend analyses or pooling years or panels, because Multum’s therapeutic classification has changed across the years of the MEPS. The Multum variables on each year of the MEPS Prescription Medication files reflect the most recent classification available in the year the data were released. The Multum classification has changed over time by the addition of new classes and subclasses, and by changes in the hierarchy of classes. Three examples follow. 1) In the 1996-2004 Prescription Medication files, antidiabetic drugs are a subclass of the hormone class, but in the 2005-2009 files, the antidiabetic subclass is part of a newly added class of metabolic drugs. 2) In the 1996-2004 files, antihyperlipidemic agents are categorized as a class with a number of subclasses including HMG-COA reductase inhibitors (statins). In the 2005-2009 files, antihyperlipidemic drugs are a subclass, and HMG-COA reductase inhibitors are a sub-subclass, in the metabolic class. 3) In the 1996-2004 files, the psychotherapeutic class comprises drugs from four subclasses: antidepressants, antipsychotics, anxiolytics/sedatives/hypnotics and CNS stimulants. In the 2005-2009 files, the psychotherapeutic class is comprised only of antidepressants and antipsychotics. Changes in the therapeutic classification may occur between any years.



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