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AHRQ Releases New MEPS Data on Prescription Drug Expenditures

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Press Release Date: December 15, 1999

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), formerly the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, has released 1996 data on expenditures for prescription medications. The data are from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) Household Component. Each prescription record includes the medication's National Drug Code, generic or brand name, strength, and quantity, as well as its total expenditure and payments by source, and information on the household- reported medical conditions for which it was prescribed.

This data release is the first in a series of public use files providing information on expenditures for medical care incurred in 1996 by the U.S. civilian non-institutionalized population. This file can be merged with previously released files to determine information on demographic characteristics, condition details, or health insurance. This file also will be able to merge with future public use files on total health expenditures, and other types of medical care.

MEPS is an ongoing, national survey of the health care experience of the U.S. population. It collects information on the medical care Americans use and how that care is paid for, as well as insurance coverage. The files can be accessed through the MEPS Website at

For additional information, please contact AHRQ Public Affairs at (301) 427-1364: Karen Carp, (301) 427-1858 (

The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


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