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December 12, 2008 [posted]

RxTerms — a New Interface Terminology to RxNorm

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N LM is pleased to announce that RxTerms, a new interface terminology that links to RxNorm, is now available for download and testing.

RxTerms is a research effort of the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications. It fills the need for a publicly available interface terminology for the input of medication information, e.g., in e-prescribing or personal health records. Until now, such systems have used terminologies that were either proprietary or built from scratch. RxTerms provides a free, user-friendly and efficient drug interface terminology that links directly to RxNorm, the U.S. national terminology standard for clinical drugs. It facilitates the inclusion of RxNorm identifiers in electronic health records. Efficiency of data entry is achieved by logical segmentation of RxNorm names. Drugs not available in the U.S. are pruned and names that are unlikely to be useful in data entry are suppressed. Additional synonyms from other sources further enhance the user-friendliness. RxTerms is currently being used in a demonstration project for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and will also be used in the NLM Personal Health Record (currently under development).

A Unified Medical Language System® license is not required to use RxTerms. We request that you give us your contact information when you download RxTerms for the first time, so that we can inform you of new developments and get your feedback. Downloading the files indicates acceptance of the Terms and Conditions of Use for RxTerms.

We welcome your feedback and suggestions. Please contact us at:

By Kin Wah Fung
Lister Hill Center

Fung KW. RxTerms - a New Interface Terminology to RxNorm. NLM Tech Bull. 2008 Nov-Dec;(365):e17.

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