The Information Standards Board for Health and Social Care (ISB) closed on 31 March 2014.

Responsibility for the recommendation for approval of information standards has transferred to the Standardisation Committee for Care Information (SCCI).

Information standards continued to be published here until 31 December 2014, after which they are published on the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) website.

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The details about this information standard are current at 31 December 2014. To find out whether they remain current after this date please check the SCCI publication pages on the HSCIC website

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Standard ISB 0052

Number ISB 0052
Title Dictionary of Medicines and Devices (dm+d)

This standard is a dictionary for medicines licensed in the UK. The Standard uses the dm+d product. The scope of the Standard is currently for England.

The Standard comprises:

a) A model of the components required to represent a medicine used in patient care, along with additional components specific to the reimbursement process used in primary care.

b) Content that is maintained and distributed according to approved policies and processes.

c) A governance structure that supports requirements for an evolving but stable set of implementable terminology products.

d) Identification of medicines within the supply chain by the inclusion of GS1 GTIN codes where known.

The scope of the Standard in terms of content is for medicines only. Medical devices are currently excluded from the Standard.

The Standards primary purpose is to support interoperability. Therefore electronic systems that exchange or share information about medicines relating directly to a patients care must adhere to the Standard by using dm+d identifiers and descriptions when transferring information.

Systems that record and communicate information not relating directly to patient care i.e. secondary uses are also required to adhere to the Standard where benefits in using common identifiers and descriptions to support interoperability and the sharing of data can be realised. Benefits may also be realised in using dm+d identifiers and descriptions in elements of supply chain management and research. However it is currently not a requirement of the Standard that dm+d identifiers and descriptions are utilised in these settings but desirable.

The scope of the Standard excludes the labelling of dispensed medicines. Labelling of dispensed medicines should conform to the NPSA (National Patient Safety Agency) guidance on medication labelling. dm+d conforms to these guidelines and provides abbreviated names for medicines and devices in accordance with them. dm+d is not a classification system and is therefore not intended to replace ATC and BNF classifications.

Use of this standard depends on the specific clinical and business requirements and the technical context. Not all components of the model will be required to support each use case. dm+d may be used directly in a system and/or via distinct mappings with another drug data resource.

dm+d is updated every week and is supplied as data files for use within information systems.

Applies To
  • Suppliers of IT systems that support recording and communication of information about medicines used in patient care including but not limited to: e-prescribing, administration, dispensing, medication history, reimbursement.
  • Health and Care Organisations purchasing systems that support recording and communication of information about medicines.
  • Health and Care Organisations using information about medicines for purposes such as reimbursement, pharmacovigilance, drug utilisation and elements of the supply chain.
  • Pharmaceutical companies.
Status Approved
Sponsor Giles Denham CBE
Sponsor Organisation Department of Health
Owner Joint
Current Release Amd 13/2013


Date Published Release Number Release Title Stage Link to Documentation
14-Aug-2013 Amd 13/2013 dm+d Standard Update April 2013 Implementation Documentation
03-Jul-2012 Amd 57/2010 Initial Standard Retirement Documentation