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Medication identifier (AHRQ generated)


For all medication-round fills, DRUGID is an AHRQ-generated identifier that can be used to link drugs across rounds for a given person and is described as the "prescribed medicine drug-level ID." That is, DRUGID will have the same value for a given person across rounds for the same medication. This contrasts to LINKIDF that will have a new value in each round for the same medication. DRUGID is available beginning in 2009; from 1996 to 2008 RXNDC can be used to link drugs across rounds in most cases. Users should keep in mind that in some cases, RXNDC is not a perfect replacement for DRUGID because a respondent may have reported a slightly different drug name (the basis for assigning DRUGID) that was assigned the same drug fill information from the pharmacy (the basis for assigning RXNDC). Starting in 2008, drug fills with the same LINKIDF value may have different RXNDC values due to different manufacturers.

Construction of DRUGID 

DRUGID uniquely identifies prescribed medicines across rounds. DRUGID is created by combining DUPERSIDF with a numeric value that is the same for each fill of a medication within and across rounds. From 2009-2017, DRUGID uniquely identifies medications within a panel. To uniquely identify medications across all MEPS panels, please see MEPSDRUGID. Beginning in 2018, DRUGID uniquely identifies medications across panels due to changes in the construction of DUPERSIDF to add PANELF to the first two digits of the DUPERSIDF identifier.

DRUGID is on the medication-round fill record (see RECTYPE for more details on the different record types in IPUMS MEPS). Variables offered on the medication-round fill record are derived from the prescribed medicines file provided by AHRQ. Please see our overview of the event, medical conditions, and prescribed medicines variables, how those variables are offered through IPUMS MEPS, and general considerations to keep in mind when conducting analyses using these variables.


From 2009-2017, DRUGID is an 11-character string variable. Beginning in 2018, DRUGID is a 13-character string variable.


From 2009-2017, DRUGID is 11 digits wide and identifies medications within a MEPS panel. Beginning in 2018, DRUGID is 13 digits wide due to the increased width of DUPERSIDF and uniquely identifies medications across MEPS panels.


  • 2009-2021: All medication-round fill records.


  • 2009-2021


  • No weights are available for this variable. Please refer to DRUGID for more information.


This variable has no flags.