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December 15, 2008 [posted]

RxNorm Now Issued in Weekly and Monthly Releases

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R xNorm began issuing a weekly update release; effective in October 2008. This weekly release is only an addition to the most recent full release, which occurs monthly. The weekly update includes new information obtained through the FDA Structured Product Labels sent to the National Library of Medicine® (NLM®) DailyMed Web site, including NDCs (National Drug Codes) for existing products, or information about newly approved drugs, as well as appropriate RxNorm forms for new drugs. Other sources of information, such as suggestions from the Center for Medicaid & Medicare Services, product announcements, and other public information may also be used to create new forms and add attributes of clinical drug products. Weekly releases will, in general, include any information received by the preceding Friday.

The monthly releases of RxNorm are complete and include all information previously received, such as modifications due to correction of errors, updated information from other sources, historical information, and other work that has been accomplished. Each monthly release constitutes a full replacement of all the information in the previous releases. The full release is consistent with the extant Unified Medical Language System® (UMLS®) Metathesaurus version, and includes UMLS CUIs (Concept Unique Identifiers) where appropriate.

NLM plans to issue full monthly RxNorm releases on the first Monday of every month, excepting holidays, and to issue weekly releases every Wednesday. Twice a year (generally April and November) the full monthly release of RxNorm may precede a new release of the UMLS by days or weeks. The goal is to issue RxNorm on a regular schedule, and try to incorporate the changes to be consistent with the new UMLS releases as rapidly as possible.

By Stuart Nelson
MeSH Section

Nelson S. RxNorm Now Issued in Weekly and Monthly Releases. NLM Tech Bull. 2008 Nov-Dec (365):e19.

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