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Unified Medical Language System® (UMLS®)

RxNorm Release Notes

October Release - 10/01/2012

This release of RxNorm is consistent with the 2012AA UMLS Metathesaurus release. For additional information about RxNorm releases, including scripts for loading the RxNorm data into Oracle and MySQL databases, read the RxNorm technical documentation.


The following sources have been updated since the previous RxNorm release:

Source NameSABDate Updated
Gold Standard Drug Database GS 09/06/2012
Medi-Span Master Drug Data Base MDDB 09/05/2012
Multum MediSource Lexicon MMSL 09/01/2012
Micromedex RED BOOK MMX 09/03/2012
FDA Structured Product Labels MTHSPL 09/25/2012
FDB MedKnowledge (formerly NDDF Plus) NDDF 09/05/2012
Veterans Health Administration National Drug File - Reference Terminology NDFRT 10/01/2012
Veterans Health Administration National Drug File VANDF 08/27/2012


The following sources have not been updated since the previous RxNorm release:

Source NameSABDate Updated
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) MSH 02/01/2012
FDA National Drug Code Directory MTHFDA 06/01/2011
SNOMED Clinical Terms (drug information) SNOMEDCT 07/31/2012


Data Changes

FDA structured product label drugs and ingredients in the Current Prescribable Content subset:
Previous releases of the Current Prescribable Content subset contained only SAB=RXNORM information. But beginning with the October release, the Current Prescribable Content subset will also include drugs and ingredients from the Food and Drug Administration structured product labels (SAB=MTHSPL). In addition to SAB=MTHSPL drug and ingredients, relationships between drugs and ingredients, NDCs, and other SAB=MTHSPL data will be added to the subset. The subset will remain in the public domain, and no license will be required to download it.

Inert ingredients in the full monthly release and the Current Prescribable Content subset:
The RxNorm team is in the process of editing SAB=MTHSPL inert ingredients. The first batch of inert ingredients will be included, along with their SAB=RXNORM names and RXCUIs, in the October full monthly release of RxNorm and the October Current Prescribable Content subset. An important application of including inert ingredients with active ingredients in RxNorm is the creation and maintenance of allergy lists in electronic health records. The remaining inert ingredients will be edited and added to RxNorm releases over the coming months.

RXN_PRESCRIBABLE attribute replaced by CVF field value:
The RXN_PRESCRIBABLE attribute, which served as a flag for the drugs and ingredients included in the Current Prescribable Content subset, will no longer be used. In its place, the content view flag (CVF) value of "4096" will be used. CVF is the last field in the RXNCONSO, RXNSAT, RXNREL, and RXNSTY files. Whereas the RXN_PRESCRIBABLE attribute was associated with an RXCUI, which made it problematic to identify all of the related attributes and relationships, the CVF value is included in each individual row in each data file. Using this flag, you can easily identify all of the Current Prescribable Content subset information within the full RxNorm releases.

IN and PIN synonyms:
Starting with the October release, RxNorm editors will have the option to create synonyms (TTY=SY) for ingredient and precise ingredient concepts. Synonyms provide alternative names for concepts. For example, "Cantharis preparation" is a synonym for "Lytta vesicatoria preparation."

Data Counts

Term Type or AttributeNumber
Active GPCK forms 331
Active BPCK forms 421
Active SCD forms 20,923
Active SBD forms 16,756
Active RXNORM MIN atoms 3,780
Active RXNORM IN atoms 6,913
Active RXNORM PIN atoms 1,805
Active RXNORM BN atoms 16,019
Active RXNORM DF atoms 103
Obsolete GPCK forms 76
Obsolete BPCK forms 46
Obsolete SCD forms 13,017
Obsolete SBD forms 4,061
Obsolete RXNORM MIN atoms 0
Obsolete RXNORM IN atoms 0
Obsolete RXNORM PIN atoms 0
Obsolete RXNORM BN atoms 0
Obsolete RXNORM DF atoms 52
OCD atoms 301,879
Source-asserted NDC codes 1,089,443
Distinct Source-asserted NDC codes 515,146
SAB=RXNORM NDC codes 217,593
Distinct SAB=RXNORM NDC codes 217,593