Pharmaceutical code

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Pharmaceutical codes are used in medical classification to uniquely identify medication. They may uniquely identify an active ingredient, drug system (including inactive ingredients and time-release agents) in general, or a specific pharmaceutical product from a specific manufacturer.


Drug system identifiers (manufacturer-specific including inactive ingredients):

Hierarchical systems:


Proprietary database identifiers include those assigned by First Databank, Micromedex, MediSpan, Gold Standard Drug Database (published by Elsevier), and Cerner Multum MediSource Lexicon; these are cross-indexed by RxNorm, which also assigns a unique identifier (RxCUI) to every combination of active ingredient and dose level.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Drug Code Directory". U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 5 May 2017. 
  2. ^ RxNorm Overview