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For all medication-round fills that are not diabetic equipment or supplies (see RXNAME), RXBEGMM reports the month in which the person began taking the medication. Respondents are only asked this question once, during the round in which they first report the new medicine. Subsequent rounds restate the previously reported value. During the initial asking of this question, if the year in which this medicine was first taken (reported in RXBEGYR) is not during or after the person's reference period, this question is not asked.

If respondents reported a date before their date of birth (or, if their date of birth is not available, a date after the reference period), this variable will be assigned a value of 98: “Unknown – Not Ascertained.” If the medication is considered diabetic equipment or supplies, this variable is assigned a value of 0: "Not in Universe."

IPUMS MEPS reports the universe for each variable based on a thorough review of the original MEPS documentation. Investigating the data may reveal cases that do not meet the stated universe. Users are encouraged to validate universes for their analyses.

RXBEGMM 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 through IPUMS MEPS are derived from the prescribed medicines file provided by AHRQ. Please see our overview of the event, medical conditions, and prescribed medicines variables, including how those variables are offered through IPUMS MEPS, and general considerations to keep in mind when conducting analyses using these variables.

Codes and Frequencies

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  • 1996-2021: All medication-round fills except diabetic equipment and supplies.


  • 1996-2021



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