Drug Strength Description

SAS Name

This variable is the strength or potency of the drug product as dispensed, according to the First DataBank (FDB) reference files.

When this variable appears in the Formulary file, it is the FDB drug strength for a drug product on the formulary.


Description of drug potency may be expressed in units of grams, miligrams, percentage, and other terms.

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 clinicial 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: http://www.fdbhealth.com/fdb-medknowledge/

Source: First DataBank

10-digit alpha/numeric value (e.g., 25MG, 1:10000, or 10MG/100ML)