MEPS Home Medical Expenditure Panel Survey
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2018 Prescribed Medicines

July 2020

The MEPS instrument design changed beginning in Spring of 2018, affecting Panel 23 Round 1, Panel 22 Round 3, and Panel 21 Round 5. For the Full-Year 2017 PUFs, the Panel 22 Round 3 and Panel 21 Round 5 data were transformed to the degree possible to conform to the previous design.

The Full-Year 2018 PUFs are the first year all rounds of data were collected with the re-designed instrument, and no data were transformed to conform to the previous design. In addition, the value -9 NOT ASCERTAINED was removed as an allowable value in the Full-Year 2018 PUFs. The new value -15 CANNOT BE COMPUTED has been added to the Full Year 2018 PUFs. Data users should be aware of possible impacts on the data and especially trend analysis for these data years due to the design transition. In addition, beginning with the 2017 data, changes in the price imputation procedures for specialty drugs with missing payment information resulted in higher total expenditures.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Center for Financing, Access, and Cost Trends
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20857
(301) 427-1406

Table of Contents

A. Data Use Agreement
B. Background
1.0 Household Component (HC)
2.0 Medical Provider Component (MPC)
3.0 Survey Management and Data Collection
C. Technical Information
1.0 General Information
2.0 Data File Information
2.1 Codebook Structure
2.2 Reserved Codes
2.3 Codebook Format
2.4 Variable Naming Conventions
2.4.1 General
2.4.2 Expenditure and Source of Payment Variables
2.5 Data Collection
2.5.1 Methodology for Collecting Household-Reported Variables
2.5.2 Methodology for Collecting Pharmacy-Reported Variables
2.6 File Contents
2.6.1 Survey Administration Variables Person Identifier Variables (DUID, PID, DUPERSID) Record Identifier Variables (RXRECIDX, LINKIDX, DRUGIDX) Panel Variable (PANEL) Round Variable (PURCHRD)
2.6.2 Characteristics of Prescribed Medicine Events When Prescribed Medicine Was First Taken (RXBEGMM-RXBEGYRX) Prescribed Medicine Attributes (RXNAME-RXDAYSUP) Type of Pharmacy (PHARTP1-PHARTP9) Analytic Flag Variables (RXFLG-INPCFLG) Clinical Classification Software Refined Codes
2.6.3 Multum Lexicon Variables from Cerner Multum, Inc.
2.6.4 Expenditure Variables (RXSF18X-RXXP18X) Definition of Expenditures Sources of Payment
3.0 Sample Weight (PERWT18F)
3.1 Overview
3.2 Details on Person Weight Construction
3.2.1 MEPS Panel 22 Weight Development Process
3.2.2 MEPS Panel 23 Weight Development Process
3.2.3 The Final Weight for 2018
3.3 Coverage
3.4 Using MEPS Data for Trend Analysis
4.0 General Data Editing and Imputation Methodology
4.1 Rounding
4.2 Edited/Imputed Expenditure Variables (RXSF18X-RXXP18X)
5.0 Strategies for Estimation
5.1 Developing Event-Level Estimates
5.2 Person-Based Estimates for Prescribed Medicine Purchases
5.3 Variables with Missing Values
5.4 Variance Estimation (VARSTR, VARPSU)
5.4.1 Taylor-series Linearization Method
5.4.2 Balanced Repeated Replication (BRR) Method
6.0 Merging/Linking MEPS Data Files
6.1 Linking to the Person-Level File
6.2 Linking to the Medical Conditions File
6.3 Longitudinal Analysis
D. Variable-Source Crosswalk
Appendix 1: Definitions for RXFORM, Dosage Form
Appendix 2: Definitions for RXFRMUNT, Quantity Unit of Medication
Appendix 3: Definitions for RXSTRUNT, Unit of Medication
Appendix 4: Definitions of Therapeutic Class Code

A. Data Use Agreement

Individual identifiers have been removed from the micro-data contained in these files. Nevertheless, under sections 308 (d) and 903 (c) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 242m and 42 U.S.C. 299 a-1), data collected by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and/or the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) may not be used for any purpose other than for the purpose for which they were supplied; any effort to determine the identity of any reported cases is prohibited by law.

Therefore in accordance with the above referenced Federal Statute, it is understood that:

  1. No one is to use the data in this data set in any way except for statistical reporting and analysis; and

  2. If the identity of any person or establishment should be discovered inadvertently, then (a) no use will be made of this knowledge, (b) the Director Office of Management AHRQ will be advised of this incident, (c) the information that would identify any individual or establishment will be safeguarded or destroyed, as requested by AHRQ, and (d) no one else will be informed of the discovered identity; and

  3. No one will attempt to link this data set with individually identifiable records from any data sets other than the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey or the National Health Interview Survey. Furthermore, linkage of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey and the National Health Interview Survey may not occur outside the AHRQ Data Center, NCHS Research Data Center (RDC) or the U.S. Census RDC network.

By using these data you signify your agreement to comply with the above stated statutorily based requirements with the knowledge that deliberately making a false statement in any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the Federal Government violates Title 18 part 1 Chapter 47 Section 1001 and is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 or up to 5 years in prison.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality requests that users cite AHRQ and the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey as the data source in any publications or research based upon these data.

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B. Background

1.0 Household Component (HC)

The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) provides nationally representative estimates of health care use, expenditures, sources of payment, and health insurance coverage for the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population. The MEPS Household Component (HC) also provides estimates of respondents' health status, demographic and socio-economic characteristics, employment, access to care, and satisfaction with health care. Estimates can be produced for individuals, families, and selected population subgroups. The panel design of the survey, which includes 5 Rounds of interviews covering 2 full calendar years, provides data for examining person level changes in selected variables such as expenditures, health insurance coverage, and health status. Using computer assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) technology, information about each household member is collected, and the survey builds on this information from interview to interview. All data for a sampled household are reported by a single household respondent.

The MEPS HC was initiated in 1996. Each year a new panel of households is selected. Because the data collected are comparable to those from earlier medical expenditure surveys conducted in 1977 and 1987, it is possible to analyze long-term trends. Each annual MEPS HC sample size is about 15,000 households. Data can be analyzed at either the person or event level. Data must be weighted to produce national estimates.

The set of households selected for each panel of the MEPS HC is a subsample of households participating in the previous year's National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). The NHIS sampling frame provides a nationally representative sample of the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population. In 2006, the NHIS implemented a new sample design, which included Asian persons in addition to households with Black and Hispanic persons in the oversampling of minority populations. NHIS introduced a new sample design in 2016 that discontinued oversampling of these minority groups. The linkage of the MEPS to the previous year's NHIS provides additional data for longitudinal analytic purposes.

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2.0 Medical Provider Component (MPC)

Upon completion of the household CAPI interview and obtaining permission from the household survey respondents, a sample of medical providers are contacted by telephone to obtain information that household respondents cannot accurately provide. This part of the MEPS is called the Medical Provider Component (MPC) and information is collected on dates of visits, diagnosis and procedure codes, charges and payments. The Pharmacy Component (PC), a subcomponent of the MPC, does not collect charges or diagnosis and procedure codes but does collect drug detail information, including National Drug Code (NDC) and medicine name, as well as amounts of payment. The MPC is not designed to yield national estimates. It is primarily used as an imputation source to supplement/replace household-reported expenditure information.

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3.0 Survey Management and Data Collection

MEPS HC and MPC data are collected under the authority of the Public Health Service Act. Data are collected under contract with Westat, Inc. (MEPS HC) and Research Triangle Institute (MEPS MPC). Data sets and summary statistics are edited and published in accordance with the confidentiality provisions of the Public Health Service Act and the Privacy Act. The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) provides consultation and technical assistance.

As soon as data collection and editing are completed, the MEPS survey data are released to the public in staged releases of summary reports, micro data files, and tables via the MEPS website. Additional information on MEPS is available from the MEPS project manager or the MEPS public use data manager at the Center for Financing Access and Cost Trends, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857 (301-427-1406).

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C. Technical Information

1.0 General Information

This documentation describes one in a series of public use event files from the 2018 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) Household Component (HC) and Medical Provider Component (MPC). Released as an ASCII data file (with related SAS, SPSS, and Stata programming statements) and SAS transport file, the 2018 Prescribed Medicines public use file provides detailed information on household-reported prescribed medicines for a nationally representative sample of the civilian noninstitutionalized population of the United States. Data from the Prescribed Medicines event file can be used to make estimates of prescribed medicine utilization and expenditures for calendar year 2018. The file contains 66 variables and has a logical record length of 598 with an additional 2-byte carriage return/line feed at the end of each record. As illustrated below, this file consists of MEPS survey data obtained in the 2018 portion of Round 3 and Rounds 4 and 5 for Panel 22, as well as Rounds 1, 2 and the 2018 portion of Round 3 for Panel 23 (i.e., the rounds for the MEPS panels covering calendar year 2018).

This image illustrates that 2018 data were collected in Rounds 3, 4, and 5 of Panel 22, and Rounds 1, 2, and 3 of Panel 23.

Each record on this event file represents a unique prescribed medicine event; that is, a prescribed medicine reported by the respondent as being obtained by a member of the household. In addition to expenditures related to the prescribed medicine, each record contains household-reported characteristics.

Data from this event file can be merged with other 2018 MEPS HC data files, for purposes of appending person characteristics such as demographic or health insurance coverage to each prescribed medicine record.

Counts of prescribed medicine utilization are based entirely on household reports. Information from the Pharmacy Component (PC) (within the MEPS MPC, see Section B 2.0 for more details on the MPC) was used to provide expenditure and payment data, as well as details of the medication (e.g., strength, quantity, etc.).

The file can be used to construct summary variables of expenditures, sources of payment, and other aspects of utilization of prescribed medicines. Aggregate annual person-level information on the use of prescribed medicines and other health services use is provided on the 2018 Full Year Consolidated Data File, where each record represents a MEPS sampled person.

The following documentation offers a brief overview of the types and levels of data provided and the content and structure of the files and the codebook. It contains the following sections:

  • Data File Information
  • Sample Weight
  • General Data Editing and Imputation Methodology
  • Strategies for Estimation
  • Merging/Linking MEPS Data Files
  • References
  • Variable-Source Crosswalk

For more information on the MEPS HC sample design, see Chowdhury et al (2019). For information on the MEPS MPC design, see RTI, 2019. A copy of the survey instrument used to collect the information on this file is available on the MEPS website.

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2.0 Data File Information

The 2018 Prescribed Medicines public use data set contains 319,666 prescribed medicine records. Each record represents one household-reported prescribed medicine that was purchased during calendar year 2018. Of the 319,666 prescribed medicine records, 316,110 records are associated with persons having a positive person-level weight (PERWT18F). The persons represented on this file had to meet either criterion a) or b) below:

  1. a) Be classified as a key in-scope person who responded for his or her entire period of 2018 eligibility (i.e., persons with a positive 2018 full-year person-level sampling weight (PERWT18F > 0)), or

  2. b) Be an eligible member of a family all of whose key in-scope members have a positive person-level weight (PERWT18F > 0). (Such a family consists of all persons with the same value for FAMIDYR.) That is, the person must have a positive full-year family-level weight (FAMWT18F > 0). Note that FAMIDYR and FAMWT18F are variables on the 2018 Full Year Consolidated Data File.

Persons with no prescribed medicine use for 2018 are not included on this file (but are represented on MEPS person-level files). A codebook for the Prescribed Medicines data file is provided (in file H206acb.pdf).

This file includes prescribed medicine records for all household members who resided in eligible responding households and for whom at least one prescribed medicine was reported. Only prescribed medicines that were obtained in calendar year 2018 are represented on this file. This file includes prescribed medicines identified in the Prescribed Medicines (PM) section of the HC survey instrument, as well as those prescribed medicines identified in association with other medical events. Each record on this file represents a single acquisition of a prescribed medicine reported by household respondents. Some household members may have multiple acquisitions of prescribed medicines and thus will be represented in multiple records on this file. Other household members may have no reported acquisitions of prescribed medicines and thus will have no records on this file.

Prior to Panel 21 Round 5 and Panel 22 Round 3, when diabetic supplies, such as syringes and insulin, were mentioned in the Other Medical Expenses (OM) section of the MEPS HC, the interviewer was directed to collect information on these items in the Prescribed Medicines section of the MEPS questionnaire. To the extent that these items are purchased without a prescription, they represent a non-prescription addition to the MEPS prescription drug expenditure and utilization data. Although these items may be purchased without a prescription, a prescription purchase may be required to obtain third party payments. Analysts are free to code and define diabetic supply/equipment and insulin events utilizing their own coding mechanism. If desired, this would enable analysts to subset the Prescribed Medicines file to exclude these types of events. Starting in Panel 21 Round 5 and Panel 22 Round 3, diabetic supply/equipment and insulin are no longer mentioned in the OM section but are mentioned and collected in the Prescribed Medicines section. Therefore, diabetic supply/equipment and insulin are collected as other Prescribed Medicines. The charges and payments are no longer collected for Prescribed Medicines in the MEPS Household Component.

It should also be noted that refills are included on this file. The HC obtains information on the name of the prescribed medicine and the number of times the medicine was obtained. The data collection design for the HC does not allow separate records to be created for multiple acquisitions of the same prescribed medicine. However, in the PC, each original purchase, as well as any refill, is considered a unique prescribed medicine event. Therefore, for the purposes of editing, imputation, and analysis, all records in the HC were “unfolded” to create separate records for each original purchase and each refill. Please note that for multiple acquisitions of the same drug, MEPS did not collect information in the HC to distinguish between the original purchase and refills. The survey only collected data on the number of times a prescribed medicine was acquired during a round. In some cases, all purchases may have been refills of an original purchase in a prior round or prior to the survey year. Due to the design change, starting from Panel 21 Round 5 and Panel 22 Round 3, the variable SAMPLE, which indicates whether or not the household reported receiving a free sample of that drug in that round, is no longer collected and therefore is not included on the 2018 public use file.

Each record on this file includes the following: an identifier for each unique prescribed medicine; detailed characteristics associated with the event (e.g., national drug code (NDC), medicine name, selected Multum Lexicon variables [see Section 2.6.3 for more information on the Multum Lexicon variables included on this file], etc.); when the person first used the medicine; total expenditure and sources of payments; types of pharmacies that filled the household’s prescriptions; and a full-year person-level weight.

Data from this file can be merged with previously released MEPS HC person-level data using the unique person identifier, DUPERSID, to append person characteristics such as demographic or health insurance coverage to each record. Data from this file can also be merged with the 2018 Full Year Consolidated Data File to estimate expenditures for persons with prescribed medicines. The Prescribed Medicines event file can also be linked to the MEPS 2018 Medical Conditions File and additional MEPS 2018 event files. Please see the 2018 Appendix File for details on how to link MEPS data files.

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2.1 Codebook Structure

For most variables on the file, both weighted and unweighted frequencies are provided. The exceptions to this are weight variables and variance estimation variables. Only unweighted frequencies of these variables are included in the accompanying codebook file. See the Weights Variables list in section D, Variable-Source Crosswalk. The codebook and data file sequence list variables in the following order:

  • Unique person identifiers
  • Unique prescribed medicine identifiers
  • Other survey administration variables
  • Prescribed medicine characteristics variables
  • Multum Lexicon variables
  • Expenditure variables
  • Weight and variance estimation variables

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2.2 Reserved Codes

The following reserved code values are used:

Value Definition
-1 INAPPLICABLE Question was not asked due to skip pattern
-7 REFUSED Question was asked and respondent refused to answer question
-8 DK Question was asked and respondent did not know answer
-14 NOT YET TAKEN/USED Respondent answered that the medicine has not yet been used
-15 CANNOT BE COMPUTED Value cannot be derived from data

Generally, values of -1, -7, -8 and -15 have not been edited on this file. However, this is not true if a prescription drug name was determined to be a confidentiality risk. In these instances, the corresponding NDC was replaced with -15, the Multum Lexicon therapeutic class replaced the RXDRGNAM (Multum drug name) determined to be a confidentiality risk, and RXNAME (pharmacy drug name) was set to -15. The values of -1 and -15 can be edited by analysts by following the skip patterns in the questionnaire. The value -14 was a valid value only for the variable representing the year the household member first used the medicine (RXBEGYRX). RXBEGYRX = -14 means that when the interviewer asked the respondent the year the household member first started using the medicine, he/she responded that the household member had not yet started using the medicine (See section C,

A copy of the Household Component questionnaire can be found in the Survey Questionnaires section of the MEPS website and selecting Prescribed Medicines (PM) from the questionnaire section.

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2.3 Codebook Format

The codebook describes an ASCII data set (although the data are also being provided in a SAS transport file).

The following codebook items are provided for each variable:

Identifier Description
Name Variable name
Description Variable descriptor
Format Number of bytes
Type Type of data: numeric (indicated by NUM) or character (indicated by CHAR)
Start Beginning column position of variable in record
End Ending column position of variable in record

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2.4 Variable Naming Conventions

In general, variable names reflect the content of the variable. Generally, all imputed/edited variables end with an “X.”

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2.4.1 General

Variables contained on this file were derived from the HC questionnaire itself, the MPC data collection instrument, or from the Multum Lexicon database from Cerner Multum, Inc. The source of each variable is identified in Section D, entitled “Variable-Source Crosswalk.” Sources for each variable are indicated in one of five ways:

  1. Variables which are derived from CAPI or assigned in sampling are so indicated as “CAPI derived” or “Assigned in sampling,” respectively;

  2. Variables which come from one or more specific questions have those numbers and the questionnaire section indicated in the “Source” column;

  3. Variables constructed from multiple questions using complex algorithms are labeled “Constructed” in the “Source” column;

  4. Variables which have been imputed are so indicated; and

  5. Variables derived from the Multum Lexicon database are so indicated.

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2.4.2 Expenditure and Source of Payment Variables

Only imputed/edited versions of the expenditure variables are provided on the file. Expenditure variables on this event file follow a standard naming convention.

The 12 source of payment variables and one sum of payments variable are named consistently in the following way:

The first two characters indicate the type of event:

IP - inpatient stay
ER - emergency room visit
HH - home health visit
OM - other medical equipment
OB - office-based visit
OP - outpatient visit
DV - dental visit
RX - prescribed medicine

In the case of the source of payment variables, the third and fourth characters indicate:

SF - self or family
MR - Medicare
MD - Medicaid
PV - private insurance
VA - Veterans Administration/CHAMPVA
OF - other federal government
SL - state/local government
WC - Workers’ Compensation
OT - other insurance
OR - other private
OU - other public
XP - sum of payments

The fifth and sixth characters indicate the year (18). The seventh character, “X,” indicates the variable is edited/imputed.

For example, RXSF18X is the edited/imputed amount paid by self or family for the 2018 prescribed medicine expenditure.

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2.5 Data Collection

Data regarding prescription drugs were obtained through the HC questionnaire and a pharmacy follow-back component (within the Medical Provider Component).

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2.5.1 Methodology for Collecting Household-Reported Variables

During each round of the MEPS HC, respondents were asked to supply the name of any prescribed medicine they or their family members purchased or otherwise obtained during that round. For each medicine in each round, the following information was collected: the name(s) of any health problems the medicine was prescribed for; the number of times the prescription medicine was obtained or purchased; the year and month in which the person first used the medicine; and a list of the names, addresses, and types of pharmacies that filled the household’s prescriptions. Starting Panel 21 Round 5 and Panel 22 Round 3, charge/payment was no longer collected for prescription medicine.

In consultation with an industry expert, outlier values for the number of times a household reported purchasing or otherwise obtaining a prescription drug in a particular round were determined by comparing the number of days a person was in the round to the number of times the person was reported to have obtained the drug in the round. For these events, a new value for the number of times a drug was purchased or otherwise obtained by a person in a round was imputed. In addition, for rounds in which a household respondent did not know/remember the number of times a certain prescribed medicine was purchased or otherwise obtained, the number of fills or refills was imputed.

For those rounds that spanned two years, drugs mentioned in that round were allocated between the years based on the number of times the respondent said the drug was purchased in the respective year, the year the person started taking the drug, the length of the person’s round, the dates of the person’s round, and the number of drugs for that person in the round.

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2.5.2 Methodology for Collecting Pharmacy-Reported Variables

If the household member with the prescription gave written permission to release his or her pharmacy records, pharmacy providers identified by the household were contacted by telephone for the pharmacy follow-back component. Following an initial telephone contact, the signed permission forms and materials explaining the study were faxed (or mailed) to cooperating pharmacy providers. The materials informed the providers of all persons participating in the survey who had prescriptions filled at their place of business and requested a computerized printout of all prescriptions filled for each person. Pharmacies can choose to report information in computer assisted telephone interviews (CATI). The CATI instrument was also used to enter information from printouts. For each medication listed, the following information was requested: national drug code (NDC), medication name, strength of medicine (amount and unit), quantity (package size/amount dispensed), days supplied, and payments by source. When an NDC was provided, often the drug name and other drug characteristics were obtained from secondary proprietary data sources.

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2.6 File Contents

2.6.1 Survey Administration Variables Person Identifier Variables (DUID, PID, DUPERSID)

The dwelling unit ID (DUID) is a seven-digit random number assigned after the case was sampled for MEPS. A three-digit person number (PID) uniquely identifies each person within the dwelling unit. The ten-character variable DUPERSID uniquely identifies each person represented on the file and is the combination of the variables DUID and PID. As part of the new CAPI design, the lengths of the ID variables have changed in the file. The additional 2 bytes in the IDs resulted from adding a 2-digit panel number to the beginning of all the IDs. Analysts wishing to pool data years 2017 and 2018 should add panel numbers to the beginning of Panel 22 Year 2017 ID variables or remove the 2-digit panel number at the beginning of Panel 22 Year 2018 ID variables to ensure they identify the same person. For detailed information on dwelling units and families, please refer to the documentation for the 2018 Full Year Population Characteristics File.

Return to Table Of Contents Record Identifier Variables (RXRECIDX, LINKIDX, DRUGIDX)

The variable RXRECIDX uniquely identifies each record on the file. This 19-character variable comprises the following components: prescribed medicine drug-round-level identifier generated through the HC (positions 1-16) + enumeration number (positions 17-19). The prescribed medicine drug-round-level ID generated through the HC (positions 1-16) can be used to link a prescribed medicine event to the conditions file and to other event files, via link files, and is provided on this file as the variable LINKIDX. For more details on linking, please refer to Section 6.2 and to the 2018 Appendix File. The prescribed medicine drug-level ID generated through the HC, DRUGIDX, can be used to link drugs across rounds. DRUGIDX was first added to the file for 2009; for 1996 through 2008, the RXNDC linked drugs across rounds.

The following hypothetical example illustrates the structure of these ID variables. This example illustrates a person in Rounds 1 and 2 of the household interview who reported having purchased Amoxicillin three times. The following example shows three acquisition-level records, all having the same DRUGIDX (2300002026002), for one person (DUPERSID=2300002026) in two rounds. Generally, within a round, one NDC is associated with a prescribed medicine event because matching was performed at a drug level, as opposed to an acquisition level. The LINKIDX (2300002026002103) remains the same for both records in Round 1 but varies across rounds. The RXRECIDX (2300002026002103001, 2300002026002103002, 2300002026002203001) differs for all three records.

2300002026 1 2300002026002103001 2300002026002103 2300002026002 00093310905
2300002026 1 2300002026002103002 2300002026002103 2300002026002 00093310905
2300002026 2 2300002026002203001 2300002026002203 2300002026002 00003010955

There can be multiple RXNDCs for a LINKIDX. All the acquisitions in the LINKIDX represent the same drug (active ingredients), but the RXNDCs may represent different manufacturers. (For more details on matching, please see Section 4.0).

Return to Table Of Contents Panel Variable (PANEL)

PANEL is a constructed variable used to specify the panel number for the person. Panel will indicate either Panel 22 or Panel 23 for each person on the file. Panel 22 is the panel that started in 2017, and Panel 23 is the panel that started in 2018.

Return to Table Of Contents Round Variable (PURCHRD)

The variable PURCHRD indicates the round in which the prescribed medicine was purchased and takes on the value of 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5. Rounds 3, 4, and 5 are associated with MEPS survey data collection from Panel 22. Similarly, Rounds 1, 2, and 3 are associated with data collected from Panel 23.

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2.6.2 Characteristics of Prescribed Medicine Events When Prescribed Medicine Was First Taken (RXBEGMM-RXBEGYRX)

There are two variables which indicate when a prescribed medicine was first taken (used), as reported by the household respondent. They are the following: RXBEGMM denotes the month in which a person first started taking a medication, and RXBEGYRX reflects the year in which a person first started taking a medicine. These “first taken” questions are only asked the first time a prescription is mentioned by the household respondent. These questions are not asked about refills of the prescription in subsequent rounds. Values are carried forward from prior rounds for all medications. Users should also note that the value -14 (not yet used or taken) is not relevant for refills. The variable DRUGIDX (see Section can be used to determine whether a medication was reported in a prior round. For purposes of confidentiality, RXBEGYRX was bottom-coded at 1940.

Return to Table Of Contents Prescribed Medicine Attributes (RXNAME-RXDAYSUP)

For each prescribed medicine included on this file, several data items collected describe in detail the medication obtained or purchased. These data items are the following:

  1. Medication name - pharmacy reported (RXNAME)

  2. Medication name - Multum Lexicon (RXDRGNAM)

  3. National drug code (RXNDC)

  4. Quantity of the prescribed medicine dispensed (RXQUANTY), e.g., number of tablets in the prescription

  5. Form of the prescribed medicine (RXFORM), e.g., powder

  6. Unit of measurement for form of Rx/prescribed medicine (RXFRMUNT), e.g., oz

  7. Strength of the dose of the prescribed medicine (RXSTRENG), e.g., 10

  8. Unit of measurement for the strength of the dose of the prescribed medicine (RXSTRUNT), e.g., gm

  9. Days supplied (RXDAYSUP)

  10. Diabetic supplies/equipment (DiabEquip)

Days supplied was first collected and released to the public on the 2010 Prescribed Medicines file. Many pharmacies did not provide this information, and imputation was not attempted in these cases. A value of 999 indicates the medication is to be taken as needed. No edits were implemented to impose consistency between the quantity and days supplied, and no edits were implemented for very high values.

The 2018 file contains multiple values of RXFORM and RXFRMUNT not found in Prescribed Medicines files in prior years. There was no reconciliation of inconsistencies or duplication between RXFORM and RXFRMUNT. Please refer to Appendices 1, 2, and 3 for definitions for RXFORM, RXFRMUNT, and RXSTRUNT abbreviations, codes and symbols. Please refer to Appendix 4 for therapeutic class code definitions.

The national drug code (NDC) is an 11-digit code. The first 5 digits indicate the manufacturer of the prescribed medicine. The next 4 digits indicate the form and strength of the prescription, and the last 2 digits indicate the package size from which the prescription was dispensed. NDC values were imputed from a proprietary database to certain PC prescriptions because the NDC reported by the pharmacy provider was not valid. These records are identified by RXFLG = 3.

For the years 1996-2004, AHRQ’s licensing agreement for the proprietary database precluded the release of the imputed NDC values to the public, so for these prescriptions, the household-reported name of the prescription (RXHHNAME) and the original NDC (RXNDC) and prescription name (RXNAME) reported by the pharmacy were provided on the file to allow users to do their own imputation. In addition, for the years 1996-2004, the imputed NDC values for the RXFLG = 3 cases could be accessed through the AHRQ Data Center. For those events not falling into the RXFLG = 3 category, the reserve code (-13) was assigned to the household-reported medication name (RXHHNAME). The household-reported name of the prescription (RXHHNAME) is no longer provided on this file; however, this variable may be accessed through the AHRQ Data Center as can the original pharmacy-reported name and NDC. For information on accessing data through the AHRQ Data Center, see the Data Center section of the MEPS website. Beginning with the 2013 data, the variable RXDRGNAM is included on the file. This drug name is the generic name of the drug most commonly used by prescribing physicians. It is supplied by the Multum Lexicon database. RXDRGNAM for earlier years can be found in the Multum Lexicon Addendum Files to MEPS Prescribed Medicines Files for 1996-2013. Additionally, the 2013 addendum file contains a version of RXDRGNAM that has corrected values for some records. See the documentation for the addendum files.

Generally, orphan drugs and drugs AHRQ estimated were used by fewer than 200,000 people are masked to ensure confidentiality of the data, unless use of the drug does not reveal specific information about the condition treated (for example, cold remedies). For these drugs, details are generally recoded as missing and RXNAME is recoded to whatever therapeutic class information remains. Prospective researchers seeking access to restricted data must complete a MEPS Data Center application. See the Data Center section of the MEPS website.

Starting in the 2018 prescribed medicines PUF, the variable DiabEquip (OTHER DIABETIC EQUIPMENT OR SUPPLIES), indicates the record is for diabetic supplies/equipment that were first reported in response to question PM40, which asks whether the person obtained “any other diabetic equipment or supplies, typically prescribed by a physician; for example, syringes, a blood glucose monitor machine, glucose meter, insulin pumps, lancets, alcohol swabs or control solution.” For Panel 22, some diabetic supplies/equipment were first reported in the Other Medical Expenses section of the 2017 survey. DiabEquip, however, does not identify all diabetic supplies and equipment, because these goods were also initially reported in other questions in the survey.

Imputed data on this event file, unlike other MEPS event files, may still have missing data. This is because imputed data on this file are imputed from the PC or from a proprietary database. These sources did not always include complete information for each variable but did include an NDC, which would typically enable an analyst to obtain any missing data items. For example, although there are a substantial number of missing values for the strength of the prescription that were not supplied by the pharmacist, these missing values were not imputed because this information is embedded in the NDC.

Return to Table Of Contents Type of Pharmacy (PHARTP1-PHARTP9)

Household respondents were asked to list the type of pharmacy from which household members purchased their medications. A respondent could list multiple pharmacies associated with each member’s prescriptions in a given round or over the course of all rounds combined covering the survey year. All household-reported pharmacies are provided on this file, but there is no link in the survey or in the data file enabling users to know the type of pharmacy from which a specific prescription was obtained if multiple pharmacies are listed. The variables PHARTP1 through PHARTP9 identify the types of pharmacy providers from which the person’s prescribed medicines were purchased. The possible types of pharmacies include the following: (1) mail-order, (2) another store, (3) HMO/clinic/hospital, (4) drug store, and (5) on-line. A -1 value for PHARTPn indicates that the household did not report “nth” pharmacy. Starting with the 2018 data, the pharmacy types are those reportedly used by the person. For prior data years, the pharmacy types are those reportedly used by anyone in the Reporting Unit (RU).

Return to Table Of Contents Analytic Flag Variables (RXFLG-INPCFLG)

There are four flag variables included on this file (RXFLG, IMPFLAG, PCIMPFLG, and INPCFLG).

RXFLG indicates whether or not there was any imputation performed on this record for the NDC variable, and if imputed, from what source the NDC was imputed. If no imputation was performed, RXFLG = 1. If the imputation source was another PC record, RXFLG = 2. Similarly, if the imputation source was a secondary, proprietary database and not the PC database, RXFLG = 3.

IMPFLAG indicates the method of creating the expenditure data: IMPFLAG = 1 indicates complete HC data, IMPFLAG = 2 indicates complete PC data, IMPFLAG = 3 indicates HC and PC data, IMPFLAG = 4 indicates fully imputed data, and IMPFLAG = 5 indicates partially imputed data.

PCIMPFLG indicates the type of match between a household-reported event and a PC-reported event. PCIMPFLG = 1 indicates an exact match for a specific event for a person between the PC and the HC. PCIMPFLG = 2 indicates not an exact match between the PC and HC for a specific person (i.e., a person’s household-reported event did not have a matched counterpart in the person’s corresponding PC records). PCIMPFLG assists analysts in determining which records have the strongest link to data reported by a pharmacy. It should be noted that whenever there are multiple purchases of a unique prescribed medication in a given round, MEPS did not collect information that would enable designating any single purchase as the “original” purchase at the time the prescription was first filled, and then designating other purchases as “refills.” The user needs to keep this in mind when the purchases of a medication are referred to as “refills” in the documentation. Because matching was performed at a drug level as opposed to an acquisition level, the values for PCIMPFLG are either 1 or 2. For more details on general data editing/imputation methodology, please see Section 4.0.

INPCFLG denotes whether or not a household member had at least one prescription drug purchase in the PC (0 = NO, 1 = YES).

Return to Table Of Contents Clinical Classification Software Refined Codes

Information on household-reported medical conditions (ICD-10-CM condition codes) and aggregated clinically meaningful categories generated using Clinical Classification Software Refined (CCSR) associated with each prescribed medicine are not provided on this file. For information on ICD-10-CM condition codes and associated CCSR codes, see the MEPS 2018 Medical Conditions file and the 2018 Appendix to MEPS Event Files.

2.6.3 Multum Lexicon Variables from Cerner Multum, Inc.

Each record on this file contains the following Multum Lexicon variables:

RXDRGNAM generic name of the drug most commonly used by prescribing physicians

PREGCAT pregnancy category variable - identifies the FDA pregnancy category to which a particular drug has been assigned

TCn therapeutic classification variable - assigns a drug to one or more therapeutic/chemical categories; can have up to three categories per drug

TCnSn therapeutic sub-classification variable - assigns one or more sub-categories to a more general therapeutic class category given to a drug

TCnSn_n therapeutic sub sub-classification variable - assigns one or more sub sub-categories to a more general therapeutic class category and sub-category given to a drug

Users should carefully review the data 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 Prescribed Medicines files reflect the most recent classification available in the year the data were released. Since the release of the 1996 Prescribed Medicines file, the Multum classification has been changed by the addition of new classes and subclasses, and by changes in the hierarchy of classes. Three examples follow: 1) In the 1996-2004 Prescribed Medicines files, antidiabetic drugs are a subclass of the hormone class, but in subsequent files, the antidiabetic subclass is part of a 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 subsequent 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 subsequent files, the psychotherapeutic class comprises only antidepressants and antipsychotics. Changes may occur between any years. For additional information on these and other Multum Lexicon variables, as well as the Multum Lexicon database itself, please refer to the Multum website.

Users should also be aware of a problem 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 (toxoids). 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.

Researchers using the Multum Lexicon variables are requested to cite Multum Lexicon as the data source.

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2.6.4 Expenditure Variables (RXSF18X-RXXP18X) Definition of Expenditures

Expenditures on this file refer to what is paid for health care services. More specifically, expenditures in MEPS are defined as the sum of payments for care received, including out-of-pocket payments and payments made by private insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, and other sources. The definition of expenditures used in MEPS differs slightly from its predecessors, the 1987 NMES and 1977 NMCES surveys, where “charges” rather than “sum of payments” were used to measure expenditures. This change was adopted because charges became a less appropriate proxy for medical expenditures during the 1990s because of the increasingly common practice of discounting charges. Although measuring expenditures as the sum of payments incorporates discounts in the MEPS expenditure estimates, the estimates do not incorporate any manufacturer or other rebates paid to pharmacy benefit managers, health plans, Medicaid programs, or other purchasers. Another general change from the two prior surveys is that charges associated with uncollected liability, bad debt, and charitable care (unless provided by a public clinic or hospital) are not counted as expenditures, because there are no payments associated with those classifications. For details on expenditure definitions, please reference the following, “Informing American Health Care Policy” (Monheit, Wilson, Arnett, 1999).

If examining trends in MEPS expenditures or performing longitudinal analysis on MEPS expenditures please refer to Section C, sub-sections 3.4 and 6.3 respectively for more information.

Return to Table Of Contents Sources of Payment

In addition to total expenditures, variables are provided which itemize expenditures according to major source of payment categories. These categories are:

  1. Out-of-pocket by User (self) or Family (SF) - includes any deductible, coinsurance, and copayment amounts not covered by other sources, as well as payments for services and providers not covered by the person’s insurance or other sources,

  2. Medicare,

  3. Medicaid,

  4. Private Insurance,

  5. Veterans Administration/CHAMPVA, excluding TRICARE,


  7. Other Federal Sources – includes Indian Health Service, military treatment facilities, and other care by the federal government,

  8. Other State and Local Source – includes community and neighborhood clinics, state and local health departments, and state programs other than Medicaid,

  9. Workers’ Compensation, and

  10. Other Unclassified Sources – includes sources such as automobile, homeowner’s, and liability insurance, and other miscellaneous or unknown sources.

Pharmacies rarely report discounts. Manufacturer discounts and coupons reported by pharmacies are excluded from the total expenditure and source of payment variables, because the manufacturer is paying itself. Free drugs are included in this file, but discounts, write-offs, and free drugs at commercial pharmacies are not counted toward the total expenditure and source of payment variables, because these reflect pharmacy pricing strategies. Discounts, write-offs, and free drugs at safety net providers and government pharmacies are paid with public sector funds, are included in total expenditures, and are assigned to a public source of payment or other unclassified sources based on the type of pharmacy and the person’s insurance coverage.

Two additional source of payment variables were created to classify payments for events with apparent inconsistencies between insurance coverage and sources of payment based on data collected in the survey. These variables include:

  1. Other Private – any type of private insurance payments reported for persons not reported to have any private health insurance coverage during the year as defined in MEPS, and

  2. Other Public – Medicare/Medicaid payments reported for persons who were not reported to be enrolled in the Medicare/Medicaid program at any time during the year.

Though relatively small in magnitude, data users/analysts should exercise caution when interpreting the expenditures associated with these two additional sources of payment. While these payments stem from apparent inconsistent responses to health insurance and source of payment questions in the survey, some of these inconsistencies may have logical explanations. For example, private insurance coverage in MEPS is defined as having a major medical plan covering hospital and physician services. If a MEPS sampled person did not have such coverage but had a single service type insurance plan (e.g., dental insurance) that paid for a particular episode of care, those payments may be classified as “other private.” Some of the “other public” payments may stem from confusion between Medicaid and other state and local programs or may be from persons who were not enrolled in Medicaid, but were presumed eligible by a provider who ultimately received payments from the public payer.

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3.0 Sample Weight (PERWT18F)

3.1 Overview

There is a single full year person-level weight (PERWT18F) assigned to each record for each key, in-scope person who responded to MEPS for the full period of time that he or she was in-scope during 2018. A key person was either a member of a responding NHIS household at the time of interview or joined a family associated with such a household after being out-of-scope at the time of the NHIS (the latter circumstance includes newborns as well as those returning from military service, an institution, or residence in a foreign country). A person is in-scope whenever he or she is a member of the civilian noninstitutionalized portion of the U.S. population.

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3.2 Details on Person Weight Construction

The person-level weight PERWT18F was developed in several stages. Person-level weights for Panel 22 and Panel 23 were created separately. The weighting process for each panel included an adjustment for nonresponse over time and calibration to independent population figures. The calibration was initially accomplished separately for each panel by raking the corresponding sample weights for those in-scope at the end of the calendar year to Current Population Survey (CPS) population estimates based on six variables. The six variables used in the establishment of the initial person-level control figures were: educational attainment of the reference person (no degree, high school/GED no college, some college, bachelor’s degree or higher); census region (Northeast, Midwest, South, West); MSA status (MSA, non-MSA); race/ethnicity (Hispanic; Black, non-Hispanic; Asian, non-Hispanic; and other); sex; and age. A 2018 composite weight was then formed by multiplying each weight from Panel 22 by the factor .490 and each weight from Panel 23 by the factor .510. The choice of factors reflected the relative sample sizes of the two panels, helping to limit the variance of estimates obtained from pooling the two samples. The composite weight was raked to the same set of CPS-based control totals. When the poverty status information derived from income variables became available, a final raking was undertaken, establishing control figures reflecting poverty status rather than educational attainment. Thus, control totals were established using poverty status (five categories: below poverty, from 100 to 125 percent of poverty, from 125 to 200 percent of poverty, from 200 to 400 percent of poverty, at least 400 percent of poverty) as well as the other five variables previously used in the weight calibration.

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3.2.1 MEPS Panel 22 Weight Development Process

The person-level weight for MEPS Panel 22 was developed using the 2017 full year weight for an individual as a “base” weight for survey participants present in 2017. For key, in-scope members who joined an RU some time in 2018 after being out-of-scope in 2017, the initially assigned person-level weight was the corresponding 2017 family weight. The weighting process included an adjustment for person-level nonresponse over Rounds 4 and 5 as well as raking to population control totals for December 2018 for key, responding persons in-scope on December 31, 2018. These control figures were derived by scaling back the population distribution obtained from the March 2019 CPS to reflect the December 31, 2018 estimated population total (estimated based on Census projections for January 1, 2019). Variables used for person-level raking included: educational attainment of the reference person (no degree, high school/GED no college, some college, bachelor’s degree or higher); census region (Northeast, Midwest, South, West); MSA status (MSA, non-MSA); race/ethnicity (Hispanic; Black, non-Hispanic; Asian, non-Hispanic; and other); sex; and age. (Poverty status is not included in this version of the MEPS full year database because of the time required to process the income data collected and then assign persons to a poverty status category). The final weight for key, responding persons who were not in-scope on December 31, 2018 but were in-scope earlier in the year is the person weight after the nonresponse adjustment.

Note that the 2017 full-year weight that was used as the base weight for Panel 22 was derived as follows; adjustment of the MEPS Round 1 weight for nonresponse over the remaining data collection rounds in 2017; and raking the resulting nonresponse adjusted weight to December 2016 population control figures.

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3.2.2 MEPS Panel 23 Weight Development Process

The person-level weight for MEPS Panel 23 was developed using the 2018 MEPS Round 1 person-level weight as a “base” weight. For key, in-scope members who joined an RU after Round 1, the Round 1 family weight served as a “base” weight. The weighting process included an adjustment for nonresponse over the remaining data collection rounds in 2018 as well as raking to the same population control figures for December 2018 used for the MEPS Panel 22 weights for key, responding persons in-scope on December 31, 2018. The same six variables employed for Panel 22 raking (educational attainment of the reference person, census region, MSA status, race/ethnicity, sex, and age) were used for Panel 23 raking. Again, the final weight for key, responding persons who were not in-scope on December 31, 2018 but were in-scope earlier in the year was the person weight after the nonresponse adjustment.

Note that the MEPS Round 1 weights for Panel 23 incorporated the following components: the original household probability of selection for the NHIS; proportion of the NHIS sample reserved for MEPS; adjustment for NHIS nonresponse; the probability of selection of NHIS responding households for MEPS; an adjustment for nonresponse at the dwelling unit level for Round 1; and poststratification to U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population estimates at the family and person levels obtained from the corresponding March CPS databases.

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3.2.3 The Final Weight for 2018

The final raking of those in-scope at the end of the year has been described above. In addition, the composite weights of two groups of persons who were out-of-scope on December 31, 2018 were adjusted for expected undercoverage. Specifically, the weights of those who were in-scope some time during the year, out-of-scope on December 31, and entered a nursing home during the year and still residing in a nursing home at the end of the year were adjusted to compensate for expected undercoverage for this subpopulation. The weights of persons who died while in-scope during 2018 were poststratified to corresponding estimates derived using data obtained from the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) and Vital Statistics information provided by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). Separate decedent control totals were developed for the “65 and older” and “under 65” civilian noninstitutionalized populations.

Overall, the weighted population estimate for the civilian noninstitutionalized population for December 31, 2018 is 322,920,490 (PERWT18F >0 and INSC1231=1). The sum of person-level weights across all persons assigned a positive person-level weight is 326,327,888.

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3.3 Coverage

The target population for MEPS in this file is the 2018 U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population. However, the MEPS sampled households are a subsample of the NHIS households interviewed in 2016 (Panel 22) and 2017 (Panel 23). New households created after the NHIS interviews for the respective Panels and consisting exclusively of persons who entered the target population after 2016 (Panel 22) or after 2017 (Panel 23) are not covered by MEPS. Neither are previously out-of-scope persons who join an existing household but are unrelated to the current household residents. Persons not covered by a given MEPS panel thus include some members of the following groups: immigrants; persons leaving the military; U.S. citizens returning from residence in another country; and persons leaving institutions. The set of uncovered persons constitutes only a small segment of the MEPS target population.

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3.4 Using MEPS Data for Trend Analysis

MEPS began in 1996, and the utility of the survey for analyzing health care trends expands with each additional year of data; however, there are a variety of methodological and statistical considerations when examining trends over time using MEPS. Tests of statistical significance should be conducted to assess the likelihood that observed trends may be attributable to sampling variation. The length of time being analyzed should also be considered. In particular, large shifts in survey estimates over short periods of time (e.g. from one year to the next) that are statistically significant should be interpreted with caution unless they are attributable to known factors such as changes in public policy, economic conditions, or MEPS survey methodology.

With respect to methodological considerations, beginning with the 2007 data, the rules MEPS uses to identify outlier prices for prescription medications became much less stringent than in prior years. Starting with the 2007 Prescribed Medicines file, there was: less editing of prices and quantities reported by pharmacies, more variation in prices for generics, lower mean prices for generics, higher mean prices for brand name drugs, greater differences in prices between generic and brand name drugs, and a somewhat lower proportion of spending on drugs by families, as opposed to third-party payers. Starting with the 2008 Prescribed Medicines file, improvements in the data editing changed the distribution of payments by source: (1) more spending on Medicare beneficiaries is by private insurance, rather than Medicare, and (2) less out-of-pocket payments and more Medicaid payments among Medicaid enrollees. Starting with the 2009 data, additional improvements increased public program amounts and reduced out-of-pocket payments and, for Medicare beneficiaries with both Part D and Medicaid, decreased Medicare payments and increased Medicaid and other state and local government payments. Starting with the 2017 data, changes in the price imputation procedures for specialty drugs with missing payment information resulted in higher total expenditures; therefore, users should be cautious in the types of comparisons they make about prescription drug spending before and after 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2017. In addition, some therapeutic class codes have changed over time.

In 2013 MEPS introduced an effort to obtain more complete information about health care utilization from MEPS respondents with full implementation in 2014. This effort likely resulted in improved data quality and reduced underreporting starting in the 2014 full year files and could modestly affect analyses involving trends in utilization across years. The change in the NHIS sample design in 2016 could also potentially affect trend analyses. For example, coverage of the MEPS target population would be expected to have increased, so subpopulations whose coverage rates were particularly increased would have increased contributions from undercovered portions of their subpopulation.

Another change with the potential to affect trend analyses involved modifications to the MEPS instrument design and data collection process. These were introduced in the Spring of 2018 and thus affected data beginning with Round 1 of Panel 23, Round 3 of Panel 22, and Round 5 of Panel 21. Since the Full Year 2017 PUFs were established from data collected in Rounds 1-3 of Panel 22 and Rounds 3-5 of Panel 21, they reflected two different instrument designs. In order to mitigate the effect of such differences within the same full year file, the Panel 22, Round 3 data and the Panel 21 Round 5 data were transformed to make them as consistent as possible with data collected under the previous design. The changes in the instrument were designed to make the data collection effort more efficient and easy to administer. In addition, expectations were that data on some items, such as those related to health care events, would be more complete with the potential of identifying more events. Increases in service use reported since the implementation of these changes are consistent with these expectations.

There are also statistical factors to consider in interpreting trend analyses. Looking at changes over longer periods of time can provide a more complete picture of underlying trends. Analysts may wish to consider techniques to evaluate, smooth, or stabilize analyses of trends such as comparing pooled time periods (e.g. 1996-97 versus 2011-13), working with moving averages, or using modeling techniques with several consecutive years of MEPS data to test the fit of specified patterns over time. Finally, researchers should be aware of the impact of multiple comparisons on Type I error. Without making appropriate allowance for multiple comparisons, undertaking numerous statistical significance tests of trends increases the likelihood of concluding that a change has taken place when one has not.

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4.0 General Data Editing and Imputation Methodology

The general approach to preparing the household prescription data for this file was to utilize the PC prescription data to impute information collected from pharmacy providers to the household drug mentions. A matching program was adopted to link PC drugs and the corresponding drug information to household drug mentions. To improve the quality of these matches, all drugs on the household and pharmacy files were coded using a proprietary database on the basis of the medication names provided by the household respondent and pharmacy, and, when available, the NDC provided in the pharmacy follow-back component. The matching process was done at a drug (active ingredient) level, as opposed to an acquisition level. Considerable editing was done prior to the matching to correct data inconsistencies in both data sets and to fill in missing data and correct outliers on the pharmacy file.

Drug price-per-unit outliers were analyzed on the pharmacy file by first identifying the average wholesale unit price (AWUP) of the drug by linkage through the NDC to a secondary data file. In general, prescription drug unit prices were deemed to be outliers by comparing unit prices reported in the pharmacy database to the AWUP reported in the secondary data file and were edited, as necessary.

Beginning with the 2007 data, the rules used to identify outlier prices for prescription medications in the PC changed. New outlier thresholds were established based on the distribution of the ratio of retail unit prices relative to the AWUP in the 2006 MarketScan Outpatient Pharmaceutical Claims database. The new thresholds vary by patent status, whereas in prior years they did not. These changes improve data quality in three ways: (1) the distribution of prices in the MEPS better benchmarks to MarketScan, overall and by patent status (Zodet et al. 2010), (2) fewer pharmacy-reported payments and quantities (for example, number of pills) are edited, and (3) imputed prices reflect prices paid, rather than AWUPs. As a result, compared with earlier years of the MEPS, starting with 2007 there is more variation in prices for generics, lower mean prices for generics, higher mean prices for brand name drugs, greater differences in prices between generic and brand name drugs, and a somewhat lower proportion of spending on drugs by families, as opposed to third-party payers. Pharmacy reports of free antibiotics were not edited as if they were outliers. Beginning with the 2010 data, some additional free drugs obtained through commercial pharmacies were not edited.

Beginning with the 2009 data, three changes in editing sources of payment data were made to improve data quality, based on a validation study (Hill et al., 2011). Two changes were made in editing fills for which pharmacies reported partial payment data. First, if the third party amount was missing and the third party payer was a public payer, then pharmacy reports of zero out-of-pocket amounts were preserved rather than imputed. Second, somewhat tighter outlier thresholds were implemented for the fills with partial payment data, and somewhat looser outlier thresholds were implemented for fills with complete payment data. Another change affected Medicare beneficiaries with both Part D and Medicaid coverage--reported Medicaid and other state and local program payments were no longer edited to be Medicare payments.

Beginning with the 2010 data, improvements in the payment imputation methods for pharmacy data (1) better utilize pharmacy-reported quantities to impute missing payment amounts, and (2) preserve within-NDC variation in the prices on the records for which third party payment amounts are imputed.

Beginning with the 2017 data, higher imputed prices were allowed. Imputed prices are capped to prevent the creation of unreasonable prices in cases with unreasonable quantity data. For the 2017 data, the cap was raised to account for the rising prices of specialty drugs. While there are relatively few cases for which the cap is relevant, these are expensive drugs, and this change in editing procedures accounts for more than 95% of the increase in total expenditures for prescribed medicines relative to 2016.

Beginning with the 2011 data, the imputation of the number of fills for a drug was improved. In the 2011 data, for 10% of household-reported drugs the respondent did not know or remember the number of times the drug was obtained during the round. For missing and implausible values, a hot-deck procedure imputed a new number of acquisitions, drawing from the donor pool of drugs with valid values. Prior to 2011, the imputation method gave greater weight to donors with more acquisitions in the round. The new method conditions on insurance status, age, and geography, as well as drug. In the 2017 data for Panel 22 Round 3 and Panel 21 Round 5, more implausibly high numbers of fills were reported than in prior years, and so there was more extensive imputation of number of fills.

Drug matches between household drug mentions and pharmacy drug events for a person in the PC were based on drug code, medication name, and the round in which the drug was reported. The matching of household drug mentions to pharmacy drugs was performed so that the most detailed and accurate information for each prescribed medicine event was obtained. The matching program assigned scores to potential matches. Numeric variables required exact matches to receive a high score, while partial scores could be assigned to matches between character variables, such as prescription name, depending on the degree of similarity in the spelling and sound of the medication names. Household drug mentions that were deemed exact matches to PC drugs for the same person in the same round required sufficiently high scores to reflect a high quality match. Initially, exact matches were used only once and were taken out of the donor pool from that point on (i.e., these matches were made without replacement). For remaining persons with pharmacy data from any round and unmatched household drugs, additional matches are made with replacement across rounds. Any refill of a household drug mention that had been matched to a pharmacy drug event was matched to the same pharmacy drug event. All remaining unmatched household drug mentions for persons either in or out of the PC were statistically matched to the entire pharmacy donor base with replacement by medication name, drug code, type of third party coverage, health conditions, age, sex, and other characteristics of the individual. PC records containing an NDC imputed without an exact match on a generic code were omitted from the donor pool. Beginning with the 2008 Prescribed Medicines file, the criteria for matching were changed to allow multiple NDCs for the same drug reported by pharmacies (for example, different manufacturers) to match to one drug reported by the household. Beginning with the 2010 data, the matching process was improved for diabetic supplies to better utilize pharmacy reports of the diversity of supplies individuals purchased.

Some matches have inconsistencies between the PC donor’s potential sources of payment and those of the HC recipient, and these were resolved. Beginning with the 2008 data, the method used to resolve inconsistencies in potential payers was changed to better reflect the distribution of sources of payment among the acquisitions with consistent sources of payment. This change (1) reduced Medicare payments and increased private payments among Medicare beneficiaries, and (2) reduced out-of-pocket payments and increased Medicaid payments among Medicaid enrollees. In addition, Medicare, Medicaid, and private drug expenditures better benchmark totals in the National Health Expenditure Accounts.

Also beginning with the 2011 data, many aspects of the specifications were modified so that imputations and edits better reflect Medicare Part D donut hole rules and Medicare Part B coverage of a few medications and diabetic supplies. Discounts on brand name drugs in the donut hole do not count towards total expenditures and are not included in source of payment variables.

For more information on the MEPS Prescribed Medicines editing and imputation procedures, please see Hill et al, 2014. Methodology Report.

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4.1 Rounding

Expenditure variables on the 2018 Prescribed Medicines file have been rounded to the nearest penny. Person-level expenditure variables released on the 2018 Full Year Consolidated Data File were rounded to the nearest dollar. It should be noted that using the 2018 MEPS event files to create person-level totals will yield slightly different totals than those found on the 2018 Full Year Consolidated data file. These differences are due to rounding only. Moreover, in some instances, the number of persons having expenditures on the 2018 event files for a particular source of payment may differ from the number of persons with expenditures on the 2018 Full Year Consolidated data file for that source of payment. This difference is also an artifact of rounding only.

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4.2 Edited/Imputed Expenditure Variables (RXSF18X-RXXP18X)

There are 13 expenditure variables included on this event file. All of these expenditures have gone through an editing and imputation process and have been rounded to the second decimal place. There is a sum of payments variable (RXXP18X) which, for each prescribed medicine event, sums all the expenditures from the various sources of payment. The 12 sources of payment expenditure variables for each prescribed medicine event are the following: amount paid by self or family (RXSF18X), amount paid by Medicare (RXMR18X), amount paid by Medicaid (RXMD18X), amount paid by private insurance (RXPV18X), amount paid by the Veterans Administration/CHAMPVA (RXVA18X), amount paid by TRICARE (RXTR18X), amount paid by other federal sources (RXOF18X), amount paid by state and local (non-federal) government sources (RXSL18X), amount paid by Worker’s Compensation (RXWC18X), and amount paid by some other source of insurance (RXOT18X). As mentioned previously, there are two additional expenditure variables called RXOR18X and RXOU18X (other private and other public, respectively). These two expenditure variables were created to maintain consistency between what the household respondent reported as a person’s private and public insurance status for hospitalization and physician coverage and third party prescription payments from other private and public sources (such as a separate private prescription policy or prescription coverage from the Veterans Administration, the Indian Health Service, or a state assistance program other than Medicaid). Users should exercise caution when interpreting the expenditures associated with these two additional sources of payment. While these payments stem from apparent inconsistent responses to health insurance and source of payment questions in the survey, some of these inconsistencies may have logical explanations. Please see Section 2.6.4 for details on these and all other source of payment variables.

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5.0 Strategies for Estimation

5.1 Developing Event-Level Estimates

The data in this file can be used to develop national 2018 event-level estimates for the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population on prescribed medicine purchases (events) as well as expenditures, and sources of payment for these purchases. Estimates of total number of purchases are the sum of the weight variable (PERWT18F) across relevant event records while estimates of other variables must be weighted by PERWT18F to be nationally representative. The tables below contain event-level estimates for selected variables.

Selected Event (Purchase) Level Estimates

All Prescribed Medicine Purchases

Estimate of Interest Variable Name Estimate (SE)
Number of purchases (in millions) PERWT18F 3269.1 (98.60)
Mean total payments per purchase RXXP18X $139 (4.1)
Mean out-of-pocket payment per purchase RXSF18X $15 (0.4)
Mean proportion of expenditures paid by private insurance per purchase RXPV18X /RXXP18X 0.199 (0.0054)

Example by Drug Type: Statins (TC1S1_1 = 173 or TC1S1_2 = 173 or TC1S2_1 = 173 or TC1S3_1 = 173 or TC2S1_1 = 173 or TC2S1_2 = 173)

Estimate of Interest Variable Name Estimate (SE)
Number of purchases (in millions) PERWT18F 218.7 (7.06)
Mean total payments per purchase RXXP18X $59 (3.1)
Mean annual total payments per person RXXP18X (aggregated across purchases within person) $286 (16.0)

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5.2 Person-Based Estimates for Prescribed Medicine Purchases

To enhance analyses of prescribed medicine purchases, analysts may link information about prescribed medicine purchases to the annual full year consolidated file (which has data for all MEPS sample persons), or conversely, link person-level information from the full year consolidated file to this event-level file (see Section 6 below for more details). Both this file and the full year consolidated file may be used to derive estimates for persons with prescribed medicine purchases and annual estimates of total expenditures for these purchases; however, if the estimate relates to the entire population, this file cannot be used to calculate the denominator, as only those persons with at least one prescribed medicine purchase are represented on this data file. Therefore, the full year consolidated file must be used for person-level analyses that include both persons with and without prescribed medicine events.

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5.3 Variables with Missing Values

It is essential that the analyst examine all variables for the presence of negative values used to represent missing values. For continuous or discrete variables, whose means or totals may be calculated, the analyst should either impute a value or set the value such that it will be interpreted as missing by the software package used. For categorical and dichotomous variables, the analyst may want to consider whether to recode or impute a value for cases with negative values or whether to exclude or include such cases in the numerator and/or denominator when calculating proportions.

Methodologies used for the editing/imputation of expenditure variables (e.g., total expenditures and sources of payment) are described in Section 4.2.

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5.4 Variance Estimation (VARSTR, VARPSU)

MEPS has a complex sample design. To obtain estimates of variability (such as the standard error of sample estimates or corresponding confidence intervals) for MEPS estimates, analysts need to take into account the complex sample design of MEPS for both person-level and family-level analyses. Several methodologies have been developed for estimating standard errors for surveys with a complex sample design, including the Taylor-series linearization method, balanced repeated replication, and jackknife replication. Various software packages provide analysts with the capability of implementing these methodologies. MEPS analysts most commonly use the Taylor Series approach. Although this data file does not contain replicate weights, the capability of employing replicate weights constructed using the Balanced Repeated Replication (BRR) methodology is also provided if needed to develop variances for more complex estimators (see Section 5.4.2).

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5.4.1 Taylor-series Linearization Method

The variables needed to calculate appropriate standard errors based on the Taylor-series linearization method are included on this and all other MEPS public use files. Software packages that permit the use of the Taylor-series linearization method include SUDAAN, R, Stata, SAS (version 8.2 and higher), and SPSS (version 12.0 and higher). For complete information on the capabilities of a package, analysts should refer to the corresponding software user documentation.

Using the Taylor-series linearization method, variance estimation strata and the variance estimation PSUs within these strata must be specified. The variables VARSTR and VARPSU on this MEPS data file serve to identify the sampling strata and primary sampling units required by the variance estimation programs. Specifying a “with replacement” design in one of the previously mentioned computer software packages will provide estimated standard errors appropriate for assessing the variability of MEPS survey estimates. It should be noted that the number of degrees of freedom associated with estimates of variability indicated by such a package may not appropriately reflect the number available. For variables of interest distributed throughout the country (and thus the MEPS sample PSUs), one can generally expect to have at least 100 degrees of freedom associated with the estimated standard errors for national estimates based on this MEPS database.

Prior to 2002, MEPS variance strata and PSUs were developed independently from year to year, and the last two characters of the strata and PSU variable names denoted the year. However, beginning with the 2002 Point-in-Time PUF, the variance strata and PSUs were developed to be compatible with all future PUFs until the NHIS design changed. Thus, when pooling data across years 2002 through the Panel 11 component of the 2007 files, the variance strata and PSU variables provided can be used without modification for variance estimation purposes for estimates covering multiple years of data. There were 203 variance estimation strata, each stratum with either two or three variance estimation PSUs.

From Panel 12 of the 2007 files, a new set of variance strata and PSUs were developed because of the introduction of a new NHIS design. There are 165 variance strata with either two or three variance estimation PSUs per stratum, starting from Panel 12. Therefore, there are a total of 368 (203+165) variance strata in the 2007 Full Year file as it consists of two panels that were selected under two independent NHIS sample designs. Since both MEPS panels in the Full Year files from 2008 through 2016 are based on the next NHIS design, there are only 165 variance strata. These variance strata (VARSTR values) have been numbered from 1001 to 1165 so that they can be readily distinguished from those developed under the former NHIS sample design in the event that data are pooled for several years.

As discussed, a complete change was made to the NHIS sample design in 2016, effectively changing the MEPS design beginning with calendar year 2017. Both Panels 22 and 23 reflect this new design. The number of variance strata formed associated with the new design is 117. They have been numbered from 2001 to 2117.

In order to make the pooling of data across multiple years of MEPS more straightforward, the numbering system for the variance strata has changed. Those strata associated with the new design (implemented in 2016) have four digit values with a “2” as the first digit. Those associated with the previous design have “1” as the first of four digits.

To ensure that variance strata are identified appropriately for variance estimation purposes when pooling MEPS data across several years, one can proceed as follows:

  1. When pooling any year from 2002 or later, one can use the variance strata numbering as is.

  2. When pooling any year from 1996 to 2001 with any year from 2002 or later, use the H36 file.

  3. A new H36 file was constructed to allow pooling of 2007 and later years with 1996 to 2006.

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5.4.2 Balanced Repeated Replication (BRR) Method

BRR replicate weights are not provided on this MEPS PUF for the purposes of variance estimation. However, a file containing a BRR replication structure is made available so that the users can form replicate weights, if desired, from the final MEPS weight to compute variances of MEPS estimates using either BRR or Fay’s modified BRR (Fay 1989) methods. The replicate weights are useful to compute variances of complex non-linear estimators for which a Taylor linear form is not easy to derive and not available in commonly used software. For instance, it is not possible to calculate the variances of a median or the ratio of two medians using the Taylor linearization method. For these types of estimators, users may calculate a variance using BRR or Fay’s modified BRR methods. However, it should be noted that the replicate weights have been derived from the final weight through a shortcut approach. Specifically, the replicate weights are not computed starting with the base weight and all adjustments made in different stages of weighting are not applied independently in each replicate. Thus, the variances computed using this one-step BRR do not capture the effects of all weighting adjustments that would be captured in a set of fully developed BRR replicate weights. The Taylor Series approach does not fully capture the effects of the different weighting adjustments either.

The dataset, HC-036BRR, MEPS 1996-2017 Replicates for Variance Estimation File, contains the information necessary to construct the BRR replicates. It contains a set of 128 flags (BRR1—BRR128) in the form of half sample indicators, each of which is coded 0 or 1 to indicate whether the person should or should not be included in that particular replicate. These flags can be used in conjunction with the full-year weight to construct the BRR replicate weights. For analysis of MEPS data pooled across years, the BRR replicates can be formed in the same way using the HC-036, MEPS 1996-2017 Pooled Linkage Variance Estimation File. For more information about creating BRR replicates, users can refer to the documentation for the HC-036BRR pooled linkage file on the AHRQ website.

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6.0 Merging/Linking MEPS Data Files

Data from this file can be used alone or in conjunction with other files for different analytic purposes. This section summarizes various scenarios for merging/linking MEPS files. Each MEPS panel can also be linked back to the previous year’s National Health Interview Survey public use data files. For information on obtaining MEPS/NHIS link files please see the data files section of the MEPS website.

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6.1 Linking to the Person-Level File

Merging characteristics of interest from the person-level file (e.g., MEPS 2018 Full Year Consolidated File) expands the scope of potential estimates. For example, to estimate the total number of prescribed medicine purchases of persons with specific demographic characteristics (such as age, race, sex, and education), population characteristics from a person-level file need to be merged onto the prescribed medicines file. This procedure is illustrated below. The MEPS 2018 Appendix File, HC-206I, provides additional detail on how to merge MEPS data files.

  1. Create data set PERSX by sorting the 2018 Full Year Consolidated File by the person identifier, DUPERSID. Keep only variables to be merged onto the prescribed medicines file and DUPERSID.

  2. Create data set PMEDS by sorting the 2018 Prescribed Medicines File by person identifier, DUPERSID.

  3. Create final data set NEWPMEDS by merging these two files by DUPERSID, keeping only records on the prescribed medicines file.

The following is an example of SAS code, which completes these steps:




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6.2 Linking to the Medical Conditions File

The condition-event link file (CLNK) provides a link from MEPS event files to the 2018 Medical Conditions File. When using the CLNK, data users/analysts should keep in mind that
(1) conditions are self-reported, (2) there may be multiple conditions associated with a prescribed medicine purchase, and (3) a condition may link to more than one prescribed medicine purchase or any other type of purchase. Users should also note that not all prescribed medicine purchases link to the condition file.

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6.3 Longitudinal Analysis

Panel-specific longitudinal files are available for downloading in the data section of the MEPS website. For each panel, the longitudinal file comprises MEPS survey data obtained in Rounds 1 through 5 of the panel and can be used to analyze changes over a two-year period. Variables in the file pertaining to survey administration, demographics, employment, health status, disability days, quality of care, patient satisfaction, health insurance, and medical care use and expenditures were obtained from the MEPS full-year Consolidated files from the two years covered by that panel.

For more details or to download the data files, please see Longitudinal Weight Files on the MEPS website.

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Chowdhury, S.R., Machlin, S.R., Gwet, K.L. Sample Designs of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component, 1996–2006 and 2007–2016. Methodology Report #33. January 2019. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.

Cohen, S.B. (1996). The Redesign of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey: A Component of the DHHS Survey Integration Plan. Proceedings of the COPAFS Seminar on Statistical Methodology in the Public Service.

Cox, B.G. and Cohen, S.B. (1985). Imputation Procedures to Compensate for Missing Responses to Data Items. In D.B. Owen and R.G.Cornell (Eds.), Methodological Issues for Health Care Surveys (pp. 214-234). New York, NY: Marcel Dekker.

Fay, R.E. (1989). Theory and Application of Replicate Weighting for Variance Calculations. Proceedings of the Survey Research Methods Sections, ASA, 212-217.

Hill, S.C., Roemer, M., and Stagnitti, M.N. (2014). Outpatient Prescription Drugs: Data Collection and Editing in the 2011 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. (Methodology Report No. 29). Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Hill, S.C., Zuvekas, S.H., and Zodet, M.W. (2011). Implications of the Accuracy of MEPS Prescription Drug Data for Health Services Research. Inquiry 48(3), 242-259.

Moeller J.F., Stagnitti, M., Horan, E., et al. (2001). Outpatient Prescription Drugs: Data Collection and Editing in the 1996 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (HC-010A) (MEPS Methodology Report No. 12, AHRQ Pub. No. 01-0002). Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Monheit, A.C., Wilson, R., and Arnett, III, R.H. (Eds.). (1999) Informing American Health Care Policy. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Inc.

RTI International (2019). Medical Provider Component (MEPS-MPC) Methodology Report 2017 Data Collection. Rockville, MD. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Shah, B.V., Barnwell, B.G., Bieler, G.S., Boyle, K.E., Folsom, R.E., Lavange, L., Wheeless, S.C., and Williams, R. (1996). Technical Manual: Statistical Methods and Algorithms Used in SUDAAN Release 7.0. Research Triangle Park, NC: Research Triangle Institute.

Zodet, M.W., Hill, S.C., and Miller, E. Comparison of Retail Drug Prices in the MEPS and MarketScan: Implications for MEPS Editing Rules. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Working Paper No. 10001, February 2010.

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D. Variable-Source Crosswalk


FOR MEPS HC-206A: 2018 Prescribed Medicines Events

Survey Administration Variables

Variable Description Source
DUID Panel # + encrypted DU identifier Assigned in sampling
PID Person number Assigned in sampling
DUPERSID Sample person ID (DUID + PID) Assigned in sampling
RXRECIDX Record ID – Unique Prescribed Medicine Identifier Constructed
LINKIDX Link to condition and other event files CAPI derived
DRUGIDX Link to drugs across rounds CAPI derived
PANEL Panel indicator Assigned in sampling
PURCHRD Round in which the Rx/prescribed medicine was obtained/purchased CAPI derived

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Prescribed Medicines Events Variables

Variable Description Source
RXBEGMM Month person first used medicine PM130_02
RXBEGYRX Year person first used medicine PM130_01
RXNAME Medicine name (Imputed) Imputed
RXDRGNAM Multum medicine name (Imputed) Imputed
RXNDC NDC (Imputed) Imputed
RXQUANTY Quantity of Rx/prescribed medicine (Imputed) Imputed
RXFORM Dosage form (Imputed) Imputed
RXFRMUNT Quantity unit of medication (Imputed) Imputed
RXSTRENG Strength of medication (Imputed) Imputed
RXSTRUNT Unit of medication (Imputed) Imputed
RXDAYSUP Days supplied of prescribed med(Imputed) Imputed
PHARTP1-PHARTP9 Type of pharmacy prov – (1st-9th) PM160LU
RXFLG Flag variable indicating imputation source for NDC on pharmacy donor record Constructed
IMPFLAG Method of expenditure data creation Constructed
PCIMPFLG Flag indicating type of household to pharmacy prescription match Constructed
DiabEquip Other diabetic equipment or supplies CAPI derived
INPCFLG Flag indicating if the person has at least one record in the pharmacy component Constructed
PREGCAT Multum pregnancy category Cerner Multum, Inc.
TC1 Multum therapeutic class #1 Cerner Multum, Inc.
TC1S1 Multum therapeutic sub-class #1 for TC1 Cerner Multum, Inc.
TC1S1_1 Multum therapeutic sub-sub-class for TC1S1 Cerner Multum, Inc.
TC1S1_2 Multum therapeutic sub-sub-class for TC1S1 Cerner Multum, Inc.
TC1S2 Multum therapeutic sub-class #2 for TC1 Cerner Multum, Inc.
TC1S2_1 Multum therapeutic sub-sub-class for TC1S2 Cerner Multum, Inc.
TC1S3 Multum therapeutic sub-class #3 for TC1 Cerner Multum, Inc.
TC1S3_1 Multum therapeutic sub-sub-class for TC1S3 Cerner Multum, Inc.
TC2 Multum therapeutic class #2 Cerner Multum, Inc.
TC2S1 Multum therapeutic sub-class #1 for TC2 Cerner Multum, Inc.
TC2S1_1 Multum therapeutic sub-sub-class for TC2S1 Cerner Multum, Inc.
TC2S1_2 Multum therapeutic sub-sub-class for TC2S1 Cerner Multum, Inc.
TC2S2 Multum therapeutic sub-class #2 for TC2 Cerner Multum, Inc.
TC3 Multum therapeutic class #3 Cerner Multum, Inc.
TC3S1 Multum therapeutic sub-class #1 for TC3 Cerner Multum, Inc.
TC3S1_1 Multum therapeutic sub-sub-class for TC3S1 Cerner Multum, Inc.
RXSF18X Amount paid, self or family (Imputed) Edited/Imputed
RXMR18X Amount paid, Medicare (Imputed) Edited/Imputed
RXMD18X Amount paid, Medicaid (Imputed) Edited/Imputed
RXPV18X Amount paid, private insurance (Imputed) Edited/Imputed
RXVA18X Amount paid, Veteran’s Administration/CHAMPVA (Imputed) Edited/Imputed
RXTR18X Amount paid, TRICARE (Imputed) Edited/Imputed
RXOF18X Amount paid, other Federal (Imputed) Edited/Imputed
RXSL18X Amount paid, state and local government (Imputed) Edited/Imputed
RXWC18X Amount paid, Worker’s Compensation (Imputed) Edited/Imputed
RXOT18X Amount paid, other insurance (Imputed) Edited/Imputed
RXOR18X Amount paid, other private (Imputed) Constructed/Imputed
RXOU18X Amount paid, other public (Imputed) Constructed/Imputed
RXXP18X Sum of payments RXSF18X – RXOU18X (Imputed) Edited/Imputed

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Variable Description Source
PERWT18F Final person-level weight Constructed
VARSTR Variance estimation stratum, 2018 Constructed
VARPSU Variance estimation PSU, 2018 Constructed

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Appendix 1

Definitions for RXFORM, Dosage Form

Dosage Form Definition
-7 refused
-8 don’t know
-15 cannot be computed
ACC accessory
ACETONIDE acetonide
ACT actuation
ADR acetic acid drop
AE aerosol
AEPB aerosol powder, breath activated
AER aerosol
AER SPRAY aerosol spray
AERA aerosol with adapter
AERB aerosol, breath activated
AERO aerosol
AEROP aerosol powder
AEROSOL aerosol
AERS aerosol, solution
AMP ampule
ARA aerosol liquid w/adapter (inhaler)
ARD aerosol solid w/adapter
ARO aerosol solid
AUTO INJ auto-injection
BACK SUPPORT BELT back support belt
BAG bag
BAL balm
BALM balm
BAN bandage
BANDAGE bandage
BAR bar
BATTERY battery
BENCH bench
BLO block
BOT bottle
BOTTLE bottle
BOX box
BOXES boxes
BRACE brace
BRIEF brief
BUT butterfly
C capsules, or cream (varies)
C12 12 hour extended-release capsule
C12A *
C24 24 hour extended-release capsule
CA capsule
CANE cane
CAP capsule, caplets
CAP DR delayed-release capsule
CAP ER extended-release capsule
CAP SA slow-acting capsule
CAPLET caplet
CAPLT caplet
CAPS capsules
CAPSULE capsule
CAPSULE SA slow-acting capsule
CAT catheter
CATHETER catheter
CC cubic centimeter
CER capsule, extended-release tablet, extended-release
CHAMBER chamber
CHEW chewable tablet
CHEW TAB chewable tablet
CHEW TABS chewable tablets
CHEWABLE chewable
CHW chewable tablets
CLEANSER cleanser
COLLAR collar
COMPOUND compound
CON condom
CONC concentrate
CONDOM condom
CONTAINER container
COTTON cotton
CP12 capsule, extended-release, 12 hour
CP24 capsule, extended-release, 24 hour
CPCR capsule, extended-release
CPDR capsule, delayed release
CPEP capsule, delayed release particles
CPSP capsule sprinkle
CPSR slow-release capsule
CR cream
CRE cream
CREA cream
CREAM cream
CRM cream
CRY crystal
CRYS crystals
CRYSTAL crystal
CS24 *
CTB chewable tablets
CTG cartridge
CURVE curve
CUTTER cutter
DEV device
DEVI device
DEVICE device
DIA diaper
DIAPER diaper
DIAPHRAGM diaphragm
DIHYDROCHLOR dihydrochloride
DIPROPION dipropionate
DIS disk, or dermal infusion system
DISK disk
DISKUS diskus
DISPOSABLE disposable
DOS PAK dose pack
DPRH diaphragm
DR drop
DRC delayed-release capsule
DRE dressing
DRESSING dressing
DRO drop
DROP drop
DROPS drops
DROPS OPTH OTI ophthalmic/otic drops
DROPS SUSP drops suspension
DRP drop
DRPS drops
DSK disk
DSPK tablets in a dose pack
DSPT tablet, dispersible
DT tablet, disintegrating
EAR DROP ear drop
EAR DROPS ear drops
EAR DRP ear drop
EAR SUSP ear suspension
EC TABS enteric coated tablets
ECC enteric coated capsules
ECT enteric coated tablets
ELI elixir
ELIX elixir
ELIXER elixir
ELIXIR elixir
ELX elixir
EMERGENCY KIT emergency kit
EMO emollient
EMU emulsion
EMUL emulsion
EMULSION emulsion
ENE enema
ENEM enema
ENEMA enema
ER *
ERC capsule, extended-release
ERSUS suspension, extended-release
ERT tablet, extended-release
ERTA extended-release-tablets
ERTC tablet, chewable, extended-release
EXTN CAP extended-release capsule
EXTRACT extract
EYE DRO eye drop
EYE DROP eye drop
EYE DROPS eye drops
EYE DRP eye drop
EYE OIN eye ointment
EYE SO eye solution
EYEDRO eye drop
FIL film
FILM film
FILM ER film, extended-release
FILMTAB filmtab
FILMTABS filmtabs
FLI film
FLOWMETER flowmeter
FOA foam
FOAM foam
GAU gauze
GAUZE gauze
GEF effervescent granules
GEL gel
GEL CAP gel capsule
GELS gel-forming solution
GER granule, extended-release
GFS gel-forming solution
GLOVE glove
GRA granules
GRAN granules
GRANULES granules
GRAR granules for reconstitution
GRR grams
GTT drops
GUM gum
HOSE medical hosiery
HU capsule
HYDROBROMIDE hydrobromide
ICR control-release insert
IMPL implant
IMPLANT implant
IN injectable
INH inhalant, inhaler
INHA inhaler
INH AER inhalant aerosol
INHAL inhalant
INHAL SOL inhalant solution
INHALER inhaler
INHL inhalant
INJ injectable
INJECTION (S) injection (s)
INSERT insert
INST insert
INSULIN insulin
IUD intrauterine devise
IV intravenous
JEL jelly
JELLY jelly
KI *
KIT kit
L lotion
LANCET lancet
LANCETS lancets
LI liquid
LINIMENT liniment
LIQ liquid
LIQD liquid
LIQUID liquid
LO *
LOLLIPOP lollipop
LOT lotion
LOTION lotion
LOTN lotion
LOZ lozenge
LOZENGE lozenge
LOZG lozenge
LPOP lollipop
LQCR liquid, extended-release
MALEATE maleate
MASK mask
MCG microgram
MEQ milliequivalent
METER meter
MG milligram
MIS miscellaneous
MISC miscellaneous
MIST mist
MONITOR monitor
MOUTHWASH mouthwash
NAS nasal spray
NASAL nasal
NASAL INHALER nasal inhaler
NASAL POCKET HL nasal inhaler, pocket
NASAL SOLN nasal solution
NASAL SPR nasal spray
NASAL SPRAY nasal spray
NDL needle
NE nebulizer
NEB nebulizer
NEBU nebulization solution
NEBULIZER nebulizer
NEEDLE needle
NEEDLES needles
NMA enema
NMO nanomole, millimicromole
NOSE DROPS nose drops
ODR ophthalmic drop (ointment)
ODT oral disintegrating tablet
OIL oil
OIN ointment
OINT ointment
OINT TOP topical ointment
OINTA ointment with applicator
OINTMENT ointment
ONT ointment
OP ophthalmic solution
OP DROPS ophthalmic drops
OP SOL ophthalmic solution
OPH ophthalmic
OPH S ophthalmic solution or suspension
OPH SOL ophthalmic solution
OPH SOLN ophthalmic solution
OPHT SOL ophthalmic solution
OPHTH DROP (S) ophthalmic drops
OPHTH OINT ophthalmic ointment
OPHTH SOLN ophthalmic solution
OPT SLN ophthalmic solution
OPT SOL ophthalmic solution
OPTH ophthalmic solution or suspension or ointment
OPTH S ophthalmic solution or suspension
OPTH SLN ophthalmic solution
OPTH SOL ophthalmic solution
OPTH SUSP ophthalmic suspension
OPTIC optic
ORAL oral
ORAL INHL oral inhalant
ORAL INHALER oral inhaler
ORAL PWD oral powder
ORAL RINSE oral rinse
ORAL SOL oral solution
ORAL SUS oral suspension
ORAL SUSP oral suspension
OTHER other
OTI otic solution
OTIC otic
OTIC SOL otic solution
OTIC SOLN otic solution
OTIC SUS otic suspension
OTIC SUSP otic suspension
PA tablet pack, pad or patch (varies)
PAC pack
PACK pack
PAD pad
PADS pads
PAK pack
PAS paste
PASTE paste
PAT patch
PATCH patch
PATCHES patches
PCH patch
PDI powder for injection
PDR powder
PDS powder for reconstitution
PEDIATRIC DROPS pediatric drops
PEL pellets
PEN pen
PI1 powder for injection, 1 month
PI3 powder for injection, 3 months
PIH powder for inhalation
PKG package
PKT packet
PLASTER plaster
PLEDGETS pledgets
PLLT pellet
PO-SYRUP syrup by mouth (oral syrup)
POPSICLE popsicle
POUCH pouch
POW powder
POWD powder
POWDER powder
POWDER/SUSPENS powder/suspension
PRO prophylactic
PST paste
PSTE paste
PT24 patch, 24 hour
PT72 patch, 72 hour
PTCH patch
PTTW patch, biweekly
PTWK patch, weekly
PULVULE pulvule
PWD powder
PWD F/SOL powder for solution
PWDI powder for injection
PWDIE powder for injection, extended-release
PWDR powder for reconstitution
PWDRD powder for reconstitution, delayed-release
RCTL SUPP rectal suppository
RECTAL CREAM rectal cream
REDITABS reditabs
RIN rinse
RING ring
RINSE rinse
ROLL roll
S syrup, suspension, solution (varies)
SA CAPS slow-acting capsules
SA TAB slow-acting tablet
SA TABLETS slow-acting tablets
SA TABS slow-acting tablets
SAL salve
SCRUB scrub
SE *
SER extended-release suspension
SET set
SGL soft b23gel cap
SHA shampoo
SHAM shampoo
SHAMPOO shampoo
SHMP shampoo
SHOE shoe
SLT sublingual tablet
SL TAB sublingual tablet
SO solution
SOA soap
SOL solution
SOLG gel forming solution
SOLN solution
SOLR solution, reconstituted
SOLUTION solution
SOLU solution
SP spray
SPG sponge
SPONGE sponge
SPR spray
SPRAY spray
SRN syringe
ST *
STAT immediately
STK stick
STOCKING stocking
STP strip
STR strip
STRIP strip
STRIPS strips
STRP strip
SU suspension, solution, suppository, powder, or granules for reconstitution (varies)
SUB sublingual
SUBL tablet, sublingual
SUBLINGUAL sublingual
SUP suppository
SUPP suppository
SUPPOSITORIES suppositories
SUPPOSITORY suppository
SUS suspension
SUS/LIQ suspension/liquid
SUSP suspension
SUSPEN suspension
SUSPENDED RELEASE CAPLET suspended release caplet
SUSPENSION suspension
SUSR suspension, reconstituted
SWA swab
SWAB swab
SWABS swabs
SYP syrup
SYR syrup
SYRG syringe
SYRINGE syringe
SYRP syrup
SYRUP syrup
T tablet
T12 12 hour extended-release tablet
T12A 12 hour extended-release tablet
T24 24 hour extended-release tablet
T24A 24 hour extended-release tablet
TA tablet
TAB tablet
TAB CHEW chewable tablet
TAB DR delayed-release tablet
TAB EC enteric coated tablet
TAB SL slow-acting tablet
TAB SUBL sublingual tablet
TABL tablet
TABLET tablet
TABLET CUTTER tablet cutter
TABLET SPLITTER tablet splitter
TABLETS tablets
TABS tablets
TAM tampon
TAP tape
TAPE tape
TB tablet
TB12 tablet, extended-release 12 hour
TB24 tablet, extended-release 24 hour
TBCH chewable tablet
TBCR tablet, extended-release
TBDP tablet, dispersible
TBEC tablet, delayed-release
TBEF tablet effervescent
TBS tablets
TBSL sublingual tablet
TBSO tablet, soluble
TBSR slow-release tablet
TC tablet, chewable
TCP tablet, coated particles
TDM extended-release film
TDR orally disintegrating tablets
TDS transdermal system
TEF effervescent tablet
TER extended-release tablet
TERF film, extended-release
TES test
TEST test
TEST STRIP test strip
TEST STRIPS test strips
TIN tincture
TINC tincture
TOP CREAM topical cream
TOP OINT topical ointment
TOP SOL topical solution
TOP SOLN topical solution
TOPICAL topical
TOPICAL CREAM topical cream
TOPICAL GEL topical gel
TOPICAL OINTMENT topical ointment
TOPICAL SOLUTION topical solution
TOPICAL-UNSPECIFIED topical-unspecified
TRO troche
TROC troche
TROCHE troche
TTB time release tablet
TUB tube
TUBE tube
UNDERWEAR underwear
UNIT DOSE unit dose
UNT unit
VAGINAL CREAM vaginal cream
VAPORIZER vaporizer
VIA vial
VIAL vial
VIAL(S) vial(s)
VIL vial
WAF wafer
WAFR wafer
WALKER walker
WASH wash
WIPES wipes
Z-PAK z-pak

* No definition for the dosage form.

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Appendix 2

Definitions for RXFRMUNT, Quantity Unit of Medication

Code Description
-1 inapplicable
-7 refused
-8 don’t know
-15 cannot be computed
ALCOHOL PADS alcohol pads
CAPLT caplet
CAPS capsule
CC cubic centimeter
DEVICE device
EA each
G gram
GM gram
GR gram
INH inhaler
L liter
LANCETS lancets
LOZ lozenge
MCL microliter
MCM micrometer
MG milligram
ML milliliter
MONITOR monitor
OTHER other
PA *
PADS pads
PT *
SWABS swabs
TEST STRIPS test strips
TROCHES troches
OZ ounce
QT quart
TAB tablet

* No description for the code.

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Appendix 3

Definitions for RXSTRUNT, Unit of Medication

Abbreviations, Codes and Symbols Definition
-7 refused
-8 don’t know
-15 cannot be computed
% percent
09 compound
9HR 9hr
24HR 24hr
91 other specify
ACT actuation
ACTIVATION activation
ACTUATION actuation
BLIST blister
B CELL b cell
CC cubic centimeters
CM2 square centimeter
DAYS days
DOSE dose
DROP drop
DRP drop
EL ELISA (enzyme linked immunosorbent assay)
G gram
GM gram
GR grain
HR or HRS hour, hours
INH inhalation
IU international unit
MCG microgram
MEQ milliequivalent
MG milligram
ML milliliter
MM millimeter
MMU millimass units
MU *
OTHER other
OZ ounce
PACKET packet
PFU plaque forming units
SPRAY spray
SQ CM square centimeter
U or UNIT units
UNT unit
VIAL vial

* No definition for the abbreviations, codes and symbols.

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Appendix 4

Definitions of Therapeutic Class Code

Therapeutic Class Code Definition
-15 cannot be computed
-1 inapplicable
1 anti-infectives
2 amebicides
3 anthelmintics
4 antifungals
5 antimalarial agents
6 antituberculosis agents
7 antiviral agents
8 carbapenems
9 cephalosporins
10 leprostatics
11 macrolide derivatives
12 miscellaneous antibiotics
13 penicillins
14 quinolones
15 sulfonamides
16 tetracyclines
17 urinary anti-infectives
18 aminoglycosides
19 antihyperlipidemic agents
20 antineoplastics
21 alkylating agents
22 antineoplastic antibiotics
23 antimetabolites
24 antineoplastic hormones
25 miscellaneous antineoplastics
26 mitotic inhibitors
27 radiopharmaceuticals
28 biologicals
30 antitoxins and antivenins
31 bacterial vaccines
32 colony stimulating factors
33 immune globulins
34 in vivo diagnostic biologicals
36 recombinant human erythropoietins
37 toxoids
38 viral vaccines
39 miscellaneous biologicals
40 cardiovascular agents
41 agents for hypertensive emergencies
42 angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors
43 antiadrenergic agents, peripherally acting
44 antiadrenergic agents, centrally acting
45 antianginal agents
46 antiarrhythmic agents
47 beta-adrenergic blocking agents
48 calcium channel blocking agents
49 diuretics
50 inotropic agents
51 miscellaneous cardiovascular agents
52 peripheral vasodilators
53 vasodilators
54 vasopressors
55 antihypertensive combinations
56 angiotensin II inhibitors
57 central nervous system agents
58 analgesics
59 miscellaneous analgesics
60 narcotic analgesics
61 nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents
62 salicylates
63 analgesic combinations
64 anticonvulsants
65 antiemetic/antivertigo agents
66 antiparkinson agents
67 anxiolytics, sedatives, and hypnotics
68 barbiturates
69 benzodiazepines
70 miscellaneous anxiolytics, sedatives and hypnotics
71 CNS stimulants
72 general anesthetics
73 muscle relaxants
74 neuromuscular blocking agents
76 miscellaneous antidepressants
77 miscellaneous antipsychotic agents
79 psychotherapeutic combinations
80 miscellaneous central nervous system agents
81 coagulation modifiers
82 anticoagulants
83 antiplatelet agents
84 heparin antagonists
85 miscellaneous coagulation modifiers
86 thrombolytics
87 gastrointestinal agents
88 antacids
89 anticholinergics/antispasmodics
90 antidiarrheals
91 digestive enzymes
92 gallstone solubilizing agents
93 GI stimulants
94 H2 antagonists
95 laxatives
96 miscellaneous GI agents
97 hormones/hormone modifiers
98 adrenal cortical steroids
99 antidiabetic agents
100 miscellaneous hormones
101 sex hormones
102 contraceptives
103 thyroid hormones
104 immunosuppressive agents
105 miscellaneous agents
106 antidotes
107 chelating agents
108 cholinergic muscle stimulants
109 local injectable anesthetics
110 miscellaneous uncategorized agents
111 psoralens
112 radiocontrast agents
113 genitourinary tract agents
114 illicit (street) drugs
115 nutritional products
116 iron products
117 minerals and electrolytes
118 oral nutritional supplements
119 vitamins
120 vitamin and mineral combinations
121 intravenous nutritional products
122 respiratory agents
123 antihistamines
124 antitussives
125 bronchodilators
126 methylxanthines
127 decongestants
128 expectorants
129 miscellaneous respiratory agents
130 respiratory inhalant products
131 antiasthmatic combinations
132 upper respiratory combinations
133 topical agents
134 anorectal preparations
135 antiseptic and germicides
136 dermatological agents
137 topical anti-infectives
138 topical steroids
139 topical anesthetics
140 miscellaneous topical agents
141 topical steroids with anti-infectives
143 topical acne agents
144 topical antipsoriatics
146 mouth and throat products
147 ophthalmic preparations
148 otic preparations
149 spermicides
150 sterile irrigating solutions
151 vaginal preparations
153 plasma expanders
154 loop diuretics
155 potassium-sparing diuretics
156 thiazide diuretics
157 carbonic anhydrase inhibitors
158 miscellaneous diuretics
159 first generation cephalosporins
160 second generation cephalosporins
161 third generation cephalosporins
162 fourth generation cephalosporins
163 ophthalmic anti-infectives
164 ophthalmic glaucoma agents
165 ophthalmic steroids
166 ophthalmic steroids with anti-infectives
167 ophthalmic anti-inflammatory agents
168 ophthalmic lubricants and irrigations
169 miscellaneous ophthalmic agents
170 otic anti-infectives
171 otic steroids with anti-infectives
172 miscellaneous otic agents
173 HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors
174 miscellaneous antihyperlipidemic agents
175 protease inhibitors
176 NRTIs
177 miscellaneous antivirals
178 skeletal muscle relaxants
179 skeletal muscle relaxant combinations
180 adrenergic bronchodilators
181 bronchodilator combinations
182 androgens and anabolic steroids
183 estrogens
184 gonadotropins
185 progestins
186 sex hormone combinations
187 miscellaneous sex hormones
191 narcotic analgesic combinations
192 antirheumatics
193 antimigraine agents
194 antigout agents
195 5HT3 receptor antagonists
196 phenothiazine antiemetics
197 anticholinergic antiemetics
198 miscellaneous antiemetics
199 hydantoin anticonvulsants
200 succinimide anticonvulsants
201 barbiturate anticonvulsants
202 oxazolidinedione anticonvulsants
203 benzodiazepine anticonvulsants
204 miscellaneous anticonvulsants
205 anticholinergic antiparkinson agents
206 miscellaneous antiparkinson agents
208 SSRI antidepressants
209 tricyclic antidepressants
210 phenothiazine antipsychotics
211 platelet aggregation inhibitors
212 glycoprotein platelet inhibitors
213 sulfonylureas
214 biguanides
215 insulin
216 alpha-glucosidase inhibitors
217 bisphosphonates
218 alternative medicines
219 nutraceutical products
220 herbal products
222 penicillinase resistant penicillins
223 antipseudomonal penicillins
224 aminopenicillins
225 beta-lactamase inhibitors
226 natural penicillins
227 NNRTIs
228 adamantane antivirals
229 purine nucleosides
230 aminosalicylates
231 nicotinic acid derivatives
232 rifamycin derivatives
233 streptomyces derivatives
234 miscellaneous antituberculosis agents
235 polyenes
236 azole antifungals
237 miscellaneous antifungals
238 antimalarial quinolines
239 miscellaneous antimalarials
240 lincomycin derivatives
241 fibric acid derivatives
242 psychotherapeutic agents
243 leukotriene modifiers
244 nasal lubricants and irrigations
245 nasal steroids
246 nasal antihistamines and decongestants
247 nasal preparations
248 topical emollients
249 antidepressants
250 monoamine oxidase inhibitors
251 antipsychotics
252 bile acid sequestrants
253 anorexiants
254 immunologic agents
256 interferons
257 immunosuppressive monoclonal antibodies
261 heparins
262 coumarins and indandiones
263 impotence agents
264 urinary antispasmodics
265 urinary pH modifiers
266 miscellaneous genitourinary tract agents
267 ophthalmic antihistamines and decongestants
268 vaginal anti-infectives
269 miscellaneous vaginal agents
270 antipsoriatics
271 thiazolidinediones
272 proton pump inhibitors
273 lung surfactants
274 cardioselective beta blockers
275 non-cardioselective beta blockers
276 dopaminergic antiparkinsonism agents
277 5-aminosalicylates
278 cox-2 inhibitors
279 gonadotropin-releasing hormone and analogs
280 thioxanthenes
281 neuraminidase inhibitors
282 meglitinides
283 thrombin inhibitors
284 viscosupplementation agents
285 factor Xa inhibitors
286 mydriatics
287 ophthalmic anesthetics
288 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors
289 antihyperuricemic agents
290 topical antibiotics
291 topical antivirals
292 topical antifungals
293 glucose elevating agents
295 growth hormones
296 inhaled corticosteroids
297 mucolytics
298 mast cell stabilizers
299 anticholinergic bronchodilators
300 corticotropin
301 glucocorticoids
302 mineralocorticoids
303 agents for pulmonary hypertension
304 macrolides
305 ketolides
306 phenylpiperazine antidepressants
307 tetracyclic antidepressants
308 SSNRI antidepressants
309 miscellaneous antidiabetic agents
310 echinocandins
311 dibenzazepine anticonvulsants
312 cholinergic agonists
313 cholinesterase inhibitors
314 antidiabetic combinations
315 glycylcyclines
316 cholesterol absorption inhibitors
317 antihyperlipidemic combinations
318 insulin-like growth factor
319 vasopressin antagonists
320 smoking cessation agents
321 ophthalmic diagnostic agents
322 ophthalmic surgical agents
323 antineoplastic monoclonal antibodies
324 antineoplastic interferons
325 sclerosing agents
327 antiviral combinations
328 antimalarial combinations
329 antituberculosis combinations
330 antiviral interferons
331 radiologic agents
332 radiologic adjuncts
333 miscellaneous iodinated contrast media
334 lymphatic staining agents
335 magnetic resonance imaging contrast media
336 non-iodinated contrast media
337 ultrasound contrast media
338 diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals
339 therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals
340 aldosterone receptor antagonists
341 atypical antipsychotics
342 renin inhibitors
343 tyrosine kinase inhibitors
344 nasal anti-infectives
345 fatty acid derivative anticonvulsants
346 gamma-aminobutyric acid reuptake inhibitors
347 gamma-aminobutyric acid analogs
348 triazine anticonvulsants
349 carbamate anticonvulsants
350 pyrrolidine anticonvulsants
351 carbonic anhydrase inhibitor anticonvulsants
352 urea anticonvulsants
353 anti-angiogenic ophthalmic agents
354 H. pylori eradication agents
355 functional bowel disorder agents
356 serotoninergic neuroenteric modulators
357 growth hormone receptor blockers
358 metabolic agents
359 peripherally acting antiobesity agents
360 lysosomal enzymes
361 miscellaneous metabolic agents
362 chloride channel activators
363 probiotics
364 antiviral chemokine receptor antagonist
365 medical gas
366 integrase strand transfer inhibitor
368 non-ionic iodinated contrast media
369 ionic iodinated contrast media
370 otic steroids
371 dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitors
372 amylin analogs
373 incretin mimetics
374 cardiac stressing agents
375 peripheral opioid receptor antagonists
376 radiologic conjugating agents
377 prolactin inhibitors
378 drugs used in alcohol dependence
379 next generation cephalosporins
380 topical debriding agents
381 topical depigmenting agents
382 topical antihistamines
383 antineoplastic detoxifying agents
384 platelet-stimulating agents
385 group I antiarrhythmics
386 group II antiarrhythmics
387 group III antiarrhythmics
388 group IV antiarrhythmics
389 group V antiarrhythmics
390 hematopoietic stem cell mobilizer
391 mTOR kinase inhibitors
392 otic anesthetics
393 cerumenolytics
394 topical astringents
395 topical keratolytics
396 prostaglandin D2 antagonists
397 multikinase inhibitors
398 BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitors
399 CD52 monoclonal antibodies
400 CD33 monoclonal antibodies
401 CD20 monoclonal antibodies
402 VEGF/VEGFR inhibitors
403 mTOR inhibitors
404 EGFR inhibitors
405 HER2 inhibitors
406 glycopeptide antibiotics
407 inhaled anti-infectives
408 histone deacetylase inhibitors
409 bone resorption inhibitors
410 adrenal corticosteroid inhibitors
411 calcitonin
412 uterotonic agents
413 antigonadotropic agents
414 antidiuretic hormones
415 miscellaneous bone resorption inhibitors
416 somatostatin and somatostatin analogs
417 selective estrogen receptor modulators
418 parathyroid hormone and analogs
419 gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonists
420 antiandrogens
422 antithyroid agents
423 aromatase inhibitors
424 estrogen receptor antagonists
426 synthetic ovulation stimulants
427 tocolytic agents
428 progesterone receptor modulators
429 trifunctional monoclonal antibodies
430 anticholinergic chronotropic agents
431 anti-CTLA-4 monoclonal antibodies
432 vaccine combinations
433 Catecholamines
435 selective phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitors
437 Immunostimulants
438 Interleukins
439 other immunostimulants
440 therapeutic vaccines
441 calcineurin inhibitors
442 TNF alfa inhibitors
443 interleukin inhibitors
444 selective immunosuppressants
445 other immunosuppressants
446 neuronal potassium channel openers
447 CD30 monoclonal antibodies
448 topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatories
449 hedgehog pathway inhibitors
450 topical antineoplastics
451 topical photochemotherapeutics
452 CFTR potentiators
453 topical rubefacient
454 proteasome inhibitors
455 guanylate cyclase-c agonists
456 ampa receptor antagonists
457 hydrazide derivatives
458 sglt-2 inhibitors
459 urea cycle disorder agents
460 phosphate binders
461 topical anti-rosacea agents
462 allergenics
463 protease-activated receptor-1 antagonists
464 miscellaneous diagnostic dyes
465 diarylquinolines
466 bone morphogenetic proteins
467 ace inhibitors with thiazides
468 antiadrenergic agents (central) with thiazides
469 antiadrenergic agents (peripheral) with thiazides
470 miscellaneous antihypertensive combinations
472 beta blockers with thiazides
473 angiotensin II inhibitors with thiazides
474 beta blockers with calcium channel blockers
475 potassium sparing diuretics with thiazides
476 ace inhibitors with calcium channel blocking agents
479 angiotensin II inhibitors with calcium channel blockers
480 antiviral boosters
481 NK1 receptor antagonists
482 angiotensin receptor blockers and neprilysin inhibitors
483 neprilysin inhibitors
484 PCSK9 inhibitors
485 NS5A inhibitors
486 oxazolidinone antibiotics
487 cftr combinations
488 anticoagulant reversal agents
489 CD38 monoclonal antibodies
490 peripheral opioid receptor mixed agonists/antagonists
491 local injectable anesthetics with corticosteroids
493 anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibodies
494 PARP inhibitors
495 Calcimimetics
496 VMAT2 inhibitors
497 cation exchange resins
498 antineoplastic combinations
499 carbapenems/beta-lactamase inhibitors
500 PI3K inhibitors
501 CDK 4/6 inhibitors
502 CGRP inhibitors
503 streptogramins
504 antimanic agents
505 transthyretin stabilizers
506 topical allergy diagnostic agents
507 malignancy photosensitizers
508 NHE3 inhibitors
509 BTK inhibitor
510 miscellaneous erythropoiesis agents
511 renal replacement solutions
512 melanocortin receptor agonists

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