News Archive

API Updates

Concept Status Changes in the RxNorm API

Summary of Changes

In July 2020, two new resources are available: In addition, the /ndcstatus resource in the RxNorm API now uses the new /historystatus status value in the returned concept status field.

The following resources are deprecated:
  • The /status resource in the RxNorm API.
  • The RxCUI History API is deprecated. This includes the /concept and /status resources.


Prior to July 2020, there existed two different set of values representing concept status:
  • /status resource in the RxNorm API. Possible status values returned: Active, Alien, Quantified, Remapped, Retired and Unknown
  • /concept resource in the RxCUI History API. Possible status values returned: Active, Retired, Never Active, Non-RxNorm and Unknown
These two sets of status created confusion because of the different values in each. In addition, several users expressed the need for the status to better represent the SUPPRESS value of the RXNCONSO file in the RxNorm data set. With these concerns in mind, a new concept with history resource was created to replace the two resources mentioned above, which are deprecated and will be removed in January 2021.

Resource Details

The /historystatus resource returns history and attribute information about the concept along with a concept status value. Possible status values are:
  • Active. The concept is in the current RxNorm data set and has a non-suppressed term (SUPPRESS="N" in RXNCONSO) from the RxNorm vocabulary (SAB="RXNORM" in RXNCONSO).
  • Obsolete. The concept is designated as obsolete (SUPRRESS="O" in RXNCONSO) in the current data set.
  • Remapped. The concept has been removed from the RXNCONSO file in the curent data set and has been remapped (in RXNATOMARCHIVE) to one or more Active concepts.
  • Quantified. The concept has been designated as an unquantified, non-prescribable drug (SUPPRESS="E" in RXNCONSO) in the current data set that has quantified concepts.
  • NotCurrent. The concept satifies one of the following conditions:
    • The concept exists in the current data set but has no RxNorm vocabulary terms.
    • The concept existed in previous monthly versions, but has been removed and is not remapped to any Active concepts.
  • Unknown. The RxCUI has never been present in an RxNorm monthly release.

The table below shows the status value comparison between the deprecated /status resource and the new /historystatus resource in the RxNorm API.

/status value (DEPRECATED) /historystatus value
Active Active
Alien NotCurrent or Remapped
Quantified Quantified
Remapped Remapped
Retired Obsolete or NotCurrent
Unknown Unknown or NotCurrent

The resource /allconceptsbystatus finds all the concepts of a given status (except Unknown).

The /historystatus resource also contains attributes and history information about the concept. Many of these fields were contained in the /concept resource in the deprecated RxCUI History API. However, some additional fields are added and are summarized below.
  • Active Start and End Dates. The month and year of the RxNorm version when the concept was active.
  • Release Start and End Dates. Then month and year of the RxNorm version when the concept existed in the data set.
  • Dose Form Groups (DFG) related to the concept.
  • Quantified Concepts. For concepts with a status of Quantified.
  • Remapped Concepts. For concepts with a status of Remapped.
  • QD-free Concept. For concepts that have a qualitative distinction (QD), this is returned if a similar concept exists without the QD.

For a complete list of the fields returned see the /historystatus resource documentation.