BSA Prescription Drug Event (PDE) PUF - Linking the Drug Name variable to RxNorm


Provide the steps to identify the drug name from the RxNorm database for the NDCs in the BSA PDE PUF. 

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The data dictionary for the Basic Stand Alone Prescription Drug Event (PDE) PUF discusses 1,022 distinct drug codes derived from the RxNorm database. These are not unique NDC values, but have been organized using RxNorm's systematic naming convention. In order to try to determine which NDC codes fall within a particular drug name, you will need two resources: The BSA PUF Drug name table and the RX Norm RxNav Tool.

The 'DRUG_NAME_TABLE' will provide you with the list of 1,022 distinct drug codes and the associated drug names for each code.  It is located in the 'SAS Data Users Guide for 2008 BSA PDE PUF' file that can be downloaded from the 'Downloads' section on the following page.

Once you obtain a drug name of interest, you will then need to use RxNorm's RxNav tool, which is a Java based program to identify the NDC's/NDC groupings. Go to and follow these steps:

  1. Click on the 'RxNav' link on the main page
  2. Once on the RxNav page, click on the 'Launch RxNav'
  3. Once the program is open, select search by "string", and enter the generic drug name into the search field. The generic drug name will be the name you obtained from the DRUG_NAME_TABLE list.
  4. This will then bring up a flow chart for the drug. You may single click on any drug listed under "Clinical Drug or Pack" or "Branded Drug or Pack".
  5. Then, select the "NDCs" tab at the top of the program. This will take you to a list of NDCs that fall within that particular drug or pack.