A Prescription for Healthcare Data

Connecting the Fragmented Pharmaceutical Landscape, from Patent to Patient


60% of Americans over the age of 20 currently take at least one prescription drug. Prescription medicine represents a $300 billion industry in the United States alone.

Despite the prevalence of pharmaceutical usage and the public availability of prescription drug data, few have insight into how prescription drugs are discovered and ultimately reach a patient.

Enigma links critical healthcare data from 10 separate public datasets to drive deeper discovery of more than 80 pharmaceutical drugs.

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Since 2012, Enigma has ingested over 100,000 different datasets from public agencies. The data featured on this site is collated from 10 distinct data sources:

Pharmaceutical drugs were mapped using Enigma’s search engine API to identify instances of the drug across the datasets and mapped by corresponding date information in each dataset. Exact matches on molecular names (“generics”) are systematically and regularly pulled from source data in Enigma Public. Health dictionaries from National Institute of Medicine’s RxNorm were also referenced.

We made the design choice to represent different brandings of a drug as a single entity in order to give a fuller sense of how the underlying molecule passes through different stages in its development and shelf life. This is one way to understand how many patents can be applied to a single molecule. For instance, a slow-release version of a drug may come to market years after the drug’s initial release, but the fundamental molecular structure is the same and belongs to the same drug timeline.

We also note that changes in activity over time may reflect gradual improvements in data availability and accessibility. As an example, standards and mandates to post clinical studies on ClinicalTrials.gov only started in the early 2000s, and may not capture historical studies prior to that point.

Trends in Prescription Drug Use Among Adults in the United States From 1999-2012

Built with Enigma Data

Enigma is a leading provider of public data for non-commercial use.

The pharmaceutical data presented here is composed of dozens of datasets released by federal and state governments that have been linked to present a cohesive narrative.

Enigma’s combined healthcare datasets contain millions of rows of normalized, analysis-ready data that help users better understand healthcare utilization, population health, and the life sciences sector.