National Medical Expenditure Survey, 1987: Household Survey, Prescribed Medicine Data [Public Use Tape 14.1] (ICPSR 9746)

Principal Investigator(s): United States Department of Health and Human Services. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research


The Household Survey is one of the three major components of the 1987 National Medical Expenditure Survey (NMES). (The other two components are the Survey of American Indians and Alaska Natives [SAIAN] and the Institutional Population Component.) Like its predecessors, the 1987 NMES provides information on health expenditures by or on behalf of families and individuals, the financing of these expenditures, and each person's use of services. The Household Survey was fielded over four rounds of personal and telephone interviews at four-month intervals. Baseline data on household composition, employment, and insurance characteristics were updated each quarter, and information on all uses of and expenditures for health care services and sources of payment was obtained. Public Use Tape 14.1 contains one record per unique medication per reference period for each eligible person in the Household Survey who reported having purchased or otherwise obtained a prescribed medication during that reference period. The file provides information, obtained in four rounds of interviews covering calendar year 1987, on prescribed medicines and conditions related to the prescription, the number of purchases and refills, and expenses and sources of payment.

Series: National Medical Expenditure Survey Series

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Study Description


U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Agency for Health Care Policy and Research. NATIONAL MEDICAL EXPENDITURE SURVEY, 1987: HOUSEHOLD SURVEY, PRESCRIBED MEDICINE DATA [PUBLIC USE TAPE 14.1]. Rockville, MD: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Agency for Health Care Policy and Research [producer], 1991. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1992.

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    disease, employment, health care costs, health care services, health expenditures, health insurance, health services utilization, household composition, illness, insurance coverage, medical care, medications, payment methods, prescription drugs

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1987-01-01--1987-12-31

Date of Collection:   

  • 1986--1988

Universe:    Noninstitutionalized civilian population of the United States.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

(1) A record can represent one or more purchases or refills of a particular medication within the reference period, and a variable identifying the number of times the medication was obtained within the period is provided on each record (PRCHDATX). (2) In order to account for all instances in 1987 of use and related expenses for one medication by one person, it is necessary to link all records with the same medication code and the same person identifier. (3) Aggregate annual person-level information on prescribed medicine and other health services use as well as detailed demographic, employment, insurance, round-specific eligibility status indicators, and reference period dates is provided on Public Use Tape 13 for the entire civilian noninstitutionalized population represented by the NMES household survey including those without prescribed medicines in 1987. (4) The age distribution of the prescribed medicine data includes 0-17 years (N = 12,563), 18-44 years (N = 23,912), 45-64 years (N = 27,634), and 65+ years (N = 45,971). The racial/ethnic distribution includes American Indian and Alaska Native (N = 755), Asian/Pacific Islander (N = 770), Black (N = 18,488), White (N = 87,663), and other (N = 2,404).


Sample:    The Household Survey sample is a stratified multistage area probability design with a total sample of roughly 35,000 individuals in 14,000 households who completed all rounds of data collection. Oversampling of population subgroups of special policy interest includes poor and low-income families, the elderly, the functionally impaired, and Black and Hispanic minorities.

Data Source:

personal interviews


Original ICPSR Release:   1992-05-12

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