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This variable is contained in the following files: Part D Pharmacy Characteristics File
SAS Name

This variable describes the class of pharmacy that filled the prescription. The dispenser class code is self-designated by pharmacies to NCPDP and is not related to taxonomy codes.


Additional details regarding the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) source data are available at:

Source: NCDPD DataQ™

CodeCode value
Independent pharmacy defined as 1-3 pharmacies under common ownership.
Chain Pharmacy defined as a part of a group of four or more pharmacies under common ownership. Pharmacies may or may not share the same Federal Tax ID number.
Franchise pharmacy, defined as an independently owned pharmacy that has signed a franchise agreement with a franchisor wherein the franchisee receives services such as training, marketing, and other support from the franchisor in exchange for a franchise fee to the franchisor. A franchisee often includes the franchisor’s name as part of the store name.
Government pharmacy, defined as a pharmacy under the jurisdiction of federal, state, county or city government or the Indian Health Service. This includes military pharmacies within or outside the United States.
Alternate dispensing site, defined as a pharmacy or dispensing site that does not fit into the four classes above. This includes mail service pharmacies, institutional and hospital pharmacies, most clinic pharmacies and non-pharmacy dispensing sites.