Is there a way to determine if a drug is generic or brand by passing in an NDC (National Drug Code) to the drug label endpoint (https://api.fda.gov/drug/label)?

  • 3
    Dear curious_george (nice CD by the way), please provide more information, so that casual bystanders are able to help you, for example: What is a NDC, what endpoint are you talking about? Check: stackoverflow.com/help/how-to-ask
    – Grimaldi
    Sep 17, 2017 at 9:19
  • Most likely, NDC if for "National Drug Code" and the endpoint mentioned is api.fda.gov/drug/label. By the way, there exists FDA list of the so called authorized generics. Sep 17, 2017 at 14:29

2 Answers 2


The page that @Stanislav Kralin's comment links to contains a link to the Orange Book page, which provides downloads for ANDA (Abbreviated New Drug Application, i.e. Generics) data and the Orange book itself. This should get you at least to 80% of the solution.

  • Thanks. I was hoping for a web service so that I wouldn't have to house and refresh the data.
    – FBNMDN
    Sep 23, 2017 at 15:24

There is a helpful strategy outlined in this post that entails using the following steps to determine if a given NDC is brand or generic:

  1. Use the https://rxnav.nlm.nih.gov/api-RxNorm.getNDCProperties.html endpoint to find the RXCUI for the NDC
  2. Pass the RXCUI to the https://rxnav.nlm.nih.gov/api-RxNorm.getRxConceptProperties.html endpoint in order to find the associated RxNorm Term Type (TTY) which can be used to indicate brand/generic
  3. If the TTY is one of the following: 'BN', 'SBDC', 'SBDF', 'SBDG', 'SBD', 'BPCK' then it is likely a brand name drug, otherwise it's likely a generic.

Here is the appendix detailing the various TTY values: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/research/umls/rxnorm/docs/2018/appendix5.html

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