Prescriber identification number qualifier code

SAS Name

This variable contains information regarding the type of prescriber identification number that was submitted on the original PDE data, as reported by the Part D sponsor on the PDE record submitted to CMS.  

Historically, this identifier could be an NPI, DEA identification number, UPIN, or state license number.  After April 2013, it is an NPI.


This variable may only be obtained if the investigator receives the prescriber identifier (PRSCRBR_ID instead of the unique CCW prescriber identifier [variable called CCW_PRSCRBR_ID], which was retired after 2013). The CCW creates the CCW_PRSCRBR_ID from the prescriber identifier (PRSCRBR_ID) variable on the original PDE.

This field is not validated and does not always reliably describe the identification numbers found in the prescriber identifier field (PRSCRBR_ID).  

Investigators interested in linking the prescriber identifiers to cross-reference databases may find it helpful to know the type of variable that appears in this data field. The CCW has found it more accurate to perform testing on the PRSCRBR_ID variable itself to determine the variable type, rather than relying on the information in this field (note that for 2006-2013, CCW created a variable called PDE_PRSCRBR_ID_FRMT_CD to examine the format).  The CCW methodology consists of examining the format and structure of the PRSCRBR_ID to determine whether the value appears to conform to the various types of ID.

The formats of these variables are:

  • NPI format -- 10 numeric characters starting with ‘1’ or ‘2’
  • DEA format -- 9 alpha-numeric characters with the first two being alpha and the last 7 being numeric
  • UPIN format -- 6 alpha-numeric characters with the first being alpha and the remaining 5 being numeric (note: the UPIN is a legacy identifier and should not be seen often in the current PDEs) 
  • State license numbers – formats are highly variable  

A fair number of values in this data field that are not NPIs or DEAs may be invalid.

Source: PDE

Code Code value
01 National Provider Identifier (NPI)
06 Unique Physician Identification Number (UPIN)
08 State license number
12 Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) number