CMS 2008 Basic Stand Alone (BSA) Prescription Drug Events Public Use File (PUF) Data Dictionary and Codebook
This is an event-level file with the following variables. See the General Documentation for an overview of file contents, data source, information about exclusions, and analytic utility.
PDE_ EVENT_ID
This field contains a cryptographic event ID. As this is an event-level file, each row on the file has a unique value for PDE_EVENT_ID. PDE_EVENT_ID cannot be used to link to any other data files released by CMS or other sources. Because of the manner in which the field was created, PDE_EVENT_ID can also serve as a random number, representing random draws from a uniform distribution.
BENE_SEX_IDENT_CD
This field indicates the sex of the beneficiary.
Variable Value Formatted Value Frequency Frequency (%)
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.
BENE_AGE_CAT_CD
This categorical variable is based on the beneficiary's age at end of the reference year (2008). In the event the beneficiary died during the reference year, the age at the date of death is used.
Variable Value Formatted Value Frequency Frequency (%)
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.
CMS 2008 BSA PDE PUF Data Dictionary and Codebook
PDE_DRUG_CD
It is the categorical variable which represents the drug names which are derived from RxNorm database, reflecting the ingredient that gives the drug its distinctive properties. The PUF contains 1,022 distinct drug codes (including "missing" identified by a value of 0). If a drug consists of more than one ingredient, then each ingredient is separated by a “/”. The table below provides the frequency of top 10 drug names. The ten most frequent drugs and their frequencies are provided below.
Variable Value Formatted Value Frequency Frequency (%)
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.
PDE_DRUG_STR_CD
This variable indicates the strength of the drug. It is derived from the drug name in the RxNorm database. Based on the active ingredient(s) of the drug, strengths are given to three significant digits, and can be expressed as ratios of two unit types where appropriate. The unit types are included in a separate variable. The PUF contains 665 distinct drug strength codes (including "missing" identified by a value of 0). If a drug consists of more than one ingredient, then the strength of each ingredient is separated by a “/” in PDE_DRUG_STR_CD. The ten most frequent values for drug strength and their frequencies are provided below.
Variable Value Formatted Value Frequency Frequency (%)
CMS 2008 BSA PDE PUF Data Dictionary and Codebook
Variable Value Formatted Value Frequency Frequency (%)
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.
PDE_DRUG_STR_UNITS
This variable indicates the unit of the strength of the drug. It is derived from the drug name in the RxNorm database. The PUF contains 46 distinct drug strength units (including "missing" identified by a value of 0). If a drug consists of more than one ingredient, then the unit of strength for each ingredient is separated by a “,” in PDE_DRUG_STR_UNITS. The ten most frequent values for unit of drug strength and their frequencies are provided below.
Variable Value Formatted Value Frequency Frequency (%)
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.
CMS 2008 BSA PDE PUF Data Dictionary and Codebook
The following table provides the descriptions of the abbreviations:
Abbreviation Description
(1) Actuation refers to a measured dose per activation of a
dispensing devise; e.g., in an inhaler, the strength of the clinical drug is given by how much is dispensed with each actuation.
PDE_DRUG_DOSE_CD
It is the categorical variable for the dose form of the drug such as topical solution or oral tablet. The PUF contains 71 distinct values for dose form (including "missing" identified by a value of 0). The ten most frequent values for dose form and their frequencies are provided below.
Variable Value Formatted Value Frequency Frequency (%)
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.
CMS 2008 BSA PDE PUF Data Dictionary and Codebook
PDE_DRUG_CLASS_CD
This categorical field indicates the class of the drug. It is a set of 28 different values. This variable is created using the VA_CLASS variable in the VA-NDF database. The PDE_DRUG_CLASS_CD groups drugs into major (Level 0) categories based on mechanism and effect. The PUF contains 28 distinct drug classes (including "missing" identified by a value of 0). The ten most frequent values for drug class and their frequencies are provided below.
Variable Value Formatted Value Frequency Frequency (%)
Blood products/Modifiers/Volume expanders 1,470,218
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.
PDE_DRUG_QTY_DIS
The quantity of the drug dispensed, in terms of units, grams, milliliters, etc. This variable is created using the QTY_DSPNSD_NUM variable in the original PDE file.
Variable Value Frequency Frequency (%)
CMS 2008 BSA PDE PUF Data Dictionary and Codebook
Variable Value Frequency Frequency (%)
CMS 2008 BSA PDE PUF Data Dictionary and Codebook
Variable Value Frequency Frequency (%)
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.
PDE_DRUG_DAY_SPLY_CD
The number of days’ supply for the dispensed drug. This variable is created using the DAYS_SUPLY_NUM variable in the original PDE file.
Variable Value Formatted Value Frequency Frequency (%)
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.
PDE_DRUG_COST
The entire cost of the prescription based on the sum of ingredient cost paid, dispensing fee paid, and total amount attributed to sales tax. This variable is created using the TOT_RX_CST_AMT variable in the original PDE file.
CMS 2008 BSA PDE PUF Data Dictionary and Codebook
Variable Value(1) ($) Frequency Frequency (%)
CMS 2008 BSA PDE PUF Data Dictionary and Codebook
Variable Value(1) ($) Frequency Frequency (%)
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding. (1) Note that a total drug cost amount between $0 and $4.99 is rounded to $0 according
to the rounding rules. Hence, the corresponding value for $10 in the PUF is a value between $5 and $14.99 in the initial 5% sample file.
PDE_DRUG_PAT_PAY_CD
This categorical variable indicates how much of the total drug cost the beneficiary paid that is not reimbursed by a third party (e.g., copayments, coinsurance, deductible or other patient pay amounts). This variable is created using the PTNT_PAY_AMT variable in the original PDE file.
Variable Value Formatted Value Frequency Frequency (%)
Patient paid an amount greater than $0 but
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.
PDE_DRUG_TYPE_CD
This categorical field indicates the type of the drug: unknown, generic drug, or brand name drug.
Variable Value Formatted Value Frequency Frequency (%)
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.
CMS 2008 BSA PDE PUF Data Dictionary and Codebook

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