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Should Insulin Billing Procedure Codes be Considered for Exposure Ascertainment in Pharmacoepidemiology Studies?

    Basic Details

    The purpose of the study was to examine whether Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) billing codes should be used in conjunction with National Drug Codes (NDCs) to establish insulin exposure episodes.

    We identified insulin claims billed by NDCs or HCPCS codes in FDA’s Sentinel System from 2013 to 2018. We created insulin exposure episodes separately based on NDCs only, HCPCS only, and a combination of both NDC and HCPCS. We considered gaps of <30 days between valid billing codes as continuous exposure. Patients were followed until the earliest of (1) episode end date, (2) death, (3) disenrollment, (4) query end date, and (5) evidence of the opposite exposure defining code type (for cohorts defined by only NDCs or only HCPCS). We examined the median duration of incident episodes, requiring no NDC or HCPCS codes in the 183 days (washout period) before the first billing code and prevalent episodes (no washout period required). For patients with more than one treatment episode, we calculated median gap length between episodes.



    Am. J. Pharmacother. Pharm. Sci. 2022 Sept 21.


    Efe Eworuke​, Christian Hampp, Talia J. Menzin, Jillian Burk, Sheryl A. Kluberg

    Corresponding Author

    Efe Eworuke; Division of Epidemiology, US Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, MD.