dm+d

Overview

dm+d is maintained by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) Prescription Services and is released weekly. NHS Digital is responsible for the distribution of the dm+d data, maintenance of licensing information, and implementation support.

dm+d is the NHS Interoperability Standard to be used in the sending of medicines information. See here (SCCI0052: Dictionary of medicines and devices (dm+d) - NHS Digital) for further information about the standard.

dm+d is currently widely implemented in primary care and underpins electronic prescribing, dispensing in the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) programme. dm+d also contains operational information such as Drug Tariff data to support reimbursement in England and Wales.

Secondary care adoption of dm+d is increasing as content is being added to the dictionary specifically to describe products used in secondary care. The NHS X Interoperable Medicines Programme is actively working with NHS Digital, NHSBSA, NHS Trusts and clinical system suppliers to increase adoption of dm+d across the NHS.

Key Messages

Is dm+d being used in the NHS?

Yes

dm+d is the only terminology for medicines that can be used in the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) for sending electronic prescriptions from prescribers to pharmacies.

In March 2021 there was 90.2% EPS utilisation with over 85million items sent via EPS in that month.

As of July 2021, 97.1% GP practices and 99.8% pharmacies were live with the EPS (current figures can be accessed here).

Is dm+d different from the SNOMED CT UK Drug Extension?

  • Yes

The NHS dictionary of medicines and devices (dm+d) underpins the SNOMED CT UK Drug Extension. It contains unique SNOMED CT identifiers and associated textual descriptions that allow for the unambiguous recording of information for prescribing, dispensing, administration and reimbursement of patient medications.

The SNOMED CT UK Drug Extension does not contain all dm+d information, for example prices in dm+d do not form part of the SNOMED CT UK Drug Extension. Also, the SNOMED CT UK Drug Extension contains additional classes and information not found in dm+d, for example the Trade Family information.

There are key differences between dm+d and the SNOMED CT UK Drug Extension data. All of the dm+d concepts are imported into SNOMED CT but where a duplicate concept already exists in the SNOMED CT the dm+d concept will be made inactive with a SAME_AS relationship to the active concept. Consequently not all dm+d concepts are active in SNOMED CT.

There is a short presentation published that shows examples of the differences between the two terminologies. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGWjSNaJ7V4

The SNOMED CT UK Drug Extension and dm+d complement each other but serve slightly different purposes.  SNOMED CT with its additional concept classes and a hierarchy that includes higher level concepts such as structural or role groupings for products is more suited to applications managing clinical information such as allergies or intolerances.

dm+d is the NHS standard for medicines information. See SCCI web page for further information. SCCI0052: Dictionary of medicines and devices (dm+d) - NHS Digital.  Electronic systems that exchange or share information about medicines relating directly to a patient's care must adhere to the standard by using dm+d identifiers and descriptions when transferring that information. Secondary uses of medications information for reporting should use dm+d identifiers and descriptions.

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Is all dm+d information used in the SNOMED CT UK Drug Extension?

No

The SNOMED CT UK Drug Extension is derived from dm+d, but currently not all dm+d information is used in the SNOMED CT UK Drug Extension. For example, prices in dm+d don't form part of the SNOMED CT UK Drug Extension. The SNOMED CT UK Drug Extension also contains classes and information not present in dm+d, for example the Trade Family information.

Does dm+d use SNOMED CT ID's?

Yes

dm+d contains unique SNOMED CT identifiers and associated textual descriptions. This allows unambiguous recording for prescribing, dispensing, administration and reimbursement of patient medications.

Where can I find more information about dm+d?

  • Information about dm+d as an information standard can be accessed here
  • Information about dm+d published in our Resource Library can be accessed here
  • There is also an online browser that will allow you to view the latest data in dm+d here.

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