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RxNorm and CMS in eRx 2009 Call Letter

01/26/2009
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It seem clear from this CMS correspondence that RxNorm will be replacing NDC codes (finally). It is time to contact your pharmacy system vendor to insure that they put the RxNorm code in their data structure. All of the major drug database vendors support the RxNorm CUI codes.
RxNorm and CMS in eRx 2009
Call Letter

H. RxNorm CMS will continue to utilize a Formulary Reference File (FRF) and proxy National Drug Codes (NDCs) for HPMS submission of Part D formularies. For CY2009, CMS also will introduce the RxNorm nomenclature for the FRF drugs because we are exploring RxNorm as a potential alternative to proxy NDCs for formulary submissions in future years. RxNorm is a standardized nomenclature for clinical drugs produced by the National Library of Medicine (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/research/umls/rxnorm/index.html). CMS is working with the Page 60 60 National Library of Medicine to evaluate whether RxNorm would provide a more effective means of drug product identification for the FRF. CMS recognizes the value of a standardized nomenclature system for the purpose of Part D formulary submission and review and for its potential application as electronic prescribing evolves. For each CY2009 FRF proxy code, the RxNorm semantic names and RxNorm concept unique identifier (RXCUI) code (when available) will be included. Part D sponsors should be aware that FRF format changes will be forthcoming. CMS wishes to clarify again that the submission process for CY 2009 formularies will not involve the use of RxNorm concept unique identifiers. We will continue to investigate the benefits of using these codes for subsequent plan years. Should CMS determine that the utilization of RxNorm would be a beneficial means for indicating drug coverage during the formulary submission and review process for CY 2010, we will notify plans in the fall of 2008 of such changes.

[Pharmacoinformatics Feed From Poikonen’s Evernote]

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