Federal Medication Terminologies
The Federal Medication (FedMed) interagency collaboration is organizing an agreed set of standard, comprehensive, freely and easily accessible Federal Medication Terminologies (FMT) to improve the exchange and public availability of medication information. FedMed is a joint effort of these Federal partner agencies:
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- National Cancer Institute (NCI)
- National Library of Medicine (NLM)
- Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
- Department of Defense (DoD)
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The FedMed resources and related standards encompass medication and ingredient names, codes, routes of administration, dosage forms, units of presentation, mechanisms of action, physiologic effects, and structure. Participating agencies currently provide the following FMT components and related products:
- FDA's Unique Ingredient Identifier (UNII) codes for drug ingredients (see FDA Terminology Web page) and National Drug Codes (NDC) for prescription medications. FDA makes extensive use of FMT in its Structured Product Labeling (SPL) specifications for medication information.
- NCI Thesaurus (NCIt) for a range of supporting terminology sets and investigational agents. The FedMed-related SPL subsets of NCIt are described and accessible on the FDA Terminology Web page. NCIt as a whole is available via browser, file downloads, and application programming interfaces.
- NLM's RxNorm for clinical drug names, a publicly available drug interface terminology RxTerms, and DailyMed for viewing and downloading SPL-encoded drug labels.
- VHA's Medication Reference Terminology (MED-RT). The public release version of MED-RT is available in several forms:
- Complete (zipped) data custom in XML format and DTS XML format; and
- A simple list of terms and codes (text).
- Crosswalks listing the relationship between historical NUIs and the native codes of the external terminologies replacing them.
The initial FMT terminology set has been endorsed by U.S. Federal standards efforts including the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS), Consolidated Health Informatics (CHI), the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP), and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). An overview of the FMT goals, directions, and components is available in a jointly developed PowerPoint presentation. The FedMed partners are working with ONC to develop an Interagency Coordination Group that can support coordination, development, and use of the FMT standards.
Please send questions and support requests to: FedMedHelp@hhs.gov