E-Prescribing Preferred Name (EPN)

The National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) SCRIPT standard version 10.6 is the approved format currently used for electronic communications between prescribers and pharmacies.  The drug name is one attribute included in the information transmitted between these entities.  Surescripts recently published guidance describing their preferred format for the drug name to be included in these transmissions. Surescripts guidelines recommend that the E-prescribing Preferred Name (EPN) contain the following elements and conditions:

Element Description
Product Name Required element displaying the branded name so pharmacy can determine the prescribed product
Salt Conditional element as part of the product name when appropriate
Drug Delivery Device Conditional element for products that can only be distinguished by the delivery device
Strength Required element except for medical devices (i.e. lancets) where strength is not applicable
Strength Unit Required element except for medical devices (i.e. lancets) where strength is not applicable
Route Conditional element for products that can only be distinguished by the route of administration
Dosage Form Required element except for medical devices (i.e. lancets) where dosage form is not applicable

 

More detailed recommendations include the use of hyphens to separate similar elements (i.e. combination products), specific spaces, permitted abbreviations, and abbreviations to avoid.  The EPN maximum length is 105 characters.  Prescribed products may also be identified through other data fields.  Another field for a drug NDC or RxNorm Concept Unique Identifier (RxCUI) is included in the SCRIPT format to provide a second method to specify the product.

Surescript’s EPN guidelines are detailed with a goal of communicating the patient specific prescribed product.  Surescripts advises vendors to populate the drug name field from a compendia source.  Commercial compendia established editorial policies for the drug name long before the introduction of EPN, so the compendia drug name fields do not mirror the EPN guidelines.  For example, the drug names are in a different order or may exclude an EPN naming element.  The RxNorm Prescribable Name is available from the National Library of Medicine as an alternate compendia source for the EPN.  PHSI has identified that the RxNorm Prescribable Name does not mirror the EPN.  While PHSI supports all efforts to provide clarity in the issuance of prescriptions to reduce medication errors and maximize efficiency, there is no currently available reference source that follows the new Surescript EPN guidelines.

 

 

Published October 2018

Leave a Reply