NCPDP SCRIPT Standard In The Health Care Industry


NCPDP SCRIPT Standard was first published in 1997 and has been updated at least annually based on the business needs identified by the industry. SCRIPT is a standard created to facilitate the transfer of prescription data between pharmacies, prescribers, intermediaries, facilities, and payers. Within SCRIPT, basic business operations such as the communication of prescription information between prescriber and pharmacy and medication history information between entities can all be handled electronically (computer to computer).

The SCRIPT Standard supports transactions for new prescriptions, prescription changes, refill requests, prescription fill status notification, prescription cancellation, medication history, transactions for long term care environments, and prior authorization exchanges. Enhancements have been added for Drug Use/Utilization Review (DUR) alerts, standardized sig (instructions), allergies, structured diagnosis information, clinical exchanges, and the use of RxNorm for standardized medication nomenclature. Enhancements for the future include more robust clinical values exchanges and prescription transfers.


  • Healthcare
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Long-term care
  • Health insurance
  • Government

Types of Transactions

The SCRIPT standard provides standard EDI document formats for information exchanges between medication prescribers, pharmacies, intermediaries and payers. Some examples include:

  • New prescription request
  • Change of new prescription
  • Cancel of prescription
  • Refill/renewals
  • Resupply in long term care
  • Fill Status notification
  • Medication history exchange

NCPDP originally founded in 1976. The organization became ANSI-accredited in 1996. In 2010, a major release of NCPDP Script gained legislative recognition. The SCRIPT standard is renewed and updated regularly by the NCPDP. NCPDP, an ANSI-accredited standards development organization, governs the SCRIPT standard. NCPDP is a pharmaceutical industry, member-driven organization that’s played a major role in landmark legislation, such as HIPAA, the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit and the Affordable Care Act.

ASC X12N 270/271: ASC X12N 270 Health Care Eligibility/Benefit Inquiry and ASC X12N 271 Health Care Eligibility/Benefit Response used for a prescriber system to request eligibility information about a patient, in this case, specifically for pharmacy benefit eligibility information. This standard is maintained by the Accredited Standards Organization (ASC) X12.

Continuity of Care Record (CCD): The HL7 Continuity of Care Document (CCD) Component describes the document content that summarizes a consumer’s registration/medication information.

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