Dosage Form Code Description

SAS Name

This variable describes the dosage form of a clinical formulation, according to the First DataBank (FDB) reference files. The dosage form is the physical presentation of a drug, such as tablet, capsule, or liquid. It may also incorporate the delivery and release mechanisms of the drug.

When this variable appears in the Formulary file, it is the FDB dosage form code description for a drug product on the formulary.


The accompanying FDB code for this description appears in dosage form code variable (called GCDF).

In the Formulary file, this variable is populated by matching the drug products on the Part D Plan submitted formulary to FDB. Part D plan sponsors submit the formulary to the CMS Health Plan Management System (HPMS). Plans identify the drug products on their formularies using the National Library of Medicine RxNorm Concept Unique Identifiers (RXCUIs). Each RXCUI corresponds to a unique brand name and clinical formulation (same ingredients, strength, and dosage form).

In the PDE file, this variable is populated by linking to the proprietary First DataBank MedKnowledge database by matching on the National Drug Code (NDC; variable in the PDE files called the product service identifier PROD_SRVC_ID).

Additional details regarding the FDB source data are available at:

Values: Narrative description (e.g., DROPS or TABLET)

Source: First DataBank