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[Gnumed-devel] Difficulty collapsing drug companies' substances

From: Jim Busser
Subject: [Gnumed-devel] Difficulty collapsing drug companies' substances
Date: Tue, 04 Jan 2011 20:26:13 -0800

Progress report…

I am not sure if my observation is specific to Canada, but it seems that the 
drug companies may be providing their identifying data (to government) in a 
form like

        Brand name
        Ingredient 1
        Ingredient 2…
        Strength (real number)
        Units (string)

and that the composition of all strings is completely arbitrary. The 
ingredients are named with all variety of salts, and any number of other 
arbitrary clarifiers, causing these to be indexed as distinct entities in the 
source tables, and this prevents any reliable matching to INN (even in the same 
language). It also confounds efforts to lookup and assign (other than manually) 
an ATC to many of  ingredients. Eric's FreeToolBox module will at least help.

Units are also arbitrary… for example


Strengths can be arbitrary… slight annoyances including

        2% vs
        2.0% vs

but at least these are computable and I am better learning SQL as I explore 
this :-)

-- Jim

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