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NDC codes unrecognizable from claims file

(Chakravarty) #1

I am trying to recognize some of the NDC codes that come through one of vendors. They seem to have 8,9,10,11 codes - even though they should follow the HIPAA requirement of 11-digit character codes. My problem is that the RX claims files that come from RXBenefit has NDC codes that are not being recognized by using SQL search on the NDC database from FDA. And the reason is because of inconsistency in length of NDC that is making it hard for me to figure out where I can place the 0s.
I only get the NDC number and not any other identifier - unsure how to automate this process

(Anna Ostropolets) #2

Here you can find a nice summary of the rules that you can use if you have hyphens. Otherwise, it’s hard, as you can get totally different drugs when placing 0s randomly. Manual curation probably makes some sense if the counts are large.

(Chakravarty) #3

Anna, thanks for your response. My problem is that the codes in the claims files show up without the hyphens; hence, i am unsure of where the 0s are a part of the code and where they have been included to bring it up to a certain format. I feel like if we had a stand-alone database of the “label” part of the NDC code, it might make sense for me to first query against that, to figure out if i am working with a 3,4 or 5-character label length

(Christian Reich) #4


Sounds like a good idea to me!

But careful: The NDC world is messy. The “label” (product, really) part is ambigous. Here is what you will run into: You could extract all the product part of the codes, which are digit 6-9 of a normalized NDC we have in our CONCEPT table. All NDC with the same product code and same digits 1-5 (manufacturer) should map to the same RxNorm concept. Or at least to a similar one (equivalent Branded and Clinical Drugs). But they don’t always. Since NDC code generation is not really overseen, folks issue all sorts of junk and bleed into the last 2 digits (packaging) to identify products.

But give it a try and let us know.