What's it cost?  Start with NADAC

The concept for this viz (a.k.a. visualization) came from simply wanting historical trend charts to assess the change in drug costs over time.  Helpful... but we needed to take this a step further to be able to easily compare the price of brand name drugs with their generic equivalents.  That data lives in the FDA's databases, so we married that up with the CMS National Average Drug Acquisition Cost database (NADAC) in Tableau and voilà – an interactive drug pricing trending tool that tracks surveyed pharmacy invoice prices.  Hover over the line and you can see all of the manufacturers and National Drug Codes (NDCs) each week as well.

Data Sources

How we created Our Dataset

  1. 46brooklyn visualization tool of choice = Tableau Prep

  2. Create standard 11-digit NDC within FDA's Package Table

  3. Join "Package" and "Product" tables on PRODUCTID

  4. Join with NADAC database on NDC

How to Use   

  1. Choose any "generic group" from the list - NOTE: this list comes straight from the FDA and unfortunately includes lots of duplicates. Start typing the drug you are looking for, and then you can select multiple entries that look similar.

  2. Choose one or more NDC Descriptions within the group(s). We like using it to compare the cost of the brand to its generic

  3. Hover (on desktop) or click (on laptop/mobile) on any part of the line to bring up a list of manufacturers and NDCs on that date

  4. In order to “clear” the viz to look up another generic group, click and then unclick “All” under the generic group

NOTE: NADAC is only available from CMS starting in November 2013.  Even though it typically doesn't capture wholesaler rebates, in our opinion, it's still one of the best price tracking benchmarks around, which is why many state Medicaid programs use it as the basis for ingredient cost.  Also, this viz is easiest to use on a desktop, as you can enter text in the dropdown filters to speed up your search.  Unfortunately there is no text entry option on tablets and mobile devices, so you have to scroll through the list.  Apologies for the inconvenience!  We'll update as soon as we figure out a hack to enable text entry. 

v 1.5 - posted October 17, 2018
For full release notes click here