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The Medicare Part D Drug Characteristics file refers to a set of variables that are appended to the Medicare Part D Event file (PDE). Researchers need to request the specific variables required for their study and CMS must approve the release.

What does this file include? (variable highlights)

  • Product ID (NDC) used to link Drug Characteristics to PDE file
  • brand name
  • generic name
  • strength
  • form of the drug

Why do researchers request this file?

  • Researchers who do not have access to a proprietary NDC database use this file to identify specific drugs, strengths and formulation
  • Studies assessing pharmaceutical treatment that compare strengths and/or formulations of prescription drugs
  • Studies evaluating drug utilization under the Medicare Part D program.

Special considerations

  • Requests for any Part D data file require selection and justification for each requested. Variable
  • This file does not include drug class or any other taxonomy variables.
  • The Part D Drug Characteristics file is not released as a freestanding file. Requested variables are appended to the requested PDE file. The structure is a flat file.
    • Product ID (NDC) used to link Drug Characteristics to PDE file
    • brand name,
    • generic name,
    • strength
    • form of the drug
Program
Medicare
Category
Privacy Level
Research Identifiable Files