The Pillbox for Developers

U.S. National Library of Medicine

About Pillbox
Statistics, Data & Images
Old Pillbox


Pillbox’s API, data, and images are powerful tools for drug identification and reference. We’re excited to give developers the ability to build medication-related applications and services. Please read this document, as well as the Disclaimer and Terms of Service before you being using Pillbox’s API, data, and images.

Pillbox API
Data Downloads
Image Downloads
Terms of Service

Warning:Pillbox’s source data is known to have errors and inconsistencies. Read this document before working with Pillbox’s API, data, and images.

The data contained in this system and connections to images of specific pills are complex. Understanding the nuances of this data and careful planning and evaluation must be included in the development of any system or application that uses this data or images to provide medical or health-related information. The Food and Drug Administration, National Library of Medicine, and pharmaceutical companies are working to improve the quality of this data.

The pill images and accompanying data available here were obtained from products acquired from a licensed pharmacy or the product manufacturer. Manufacturers may alter the appearance (e.g., shape, color, size, markings) of medications over time. The same medication may have been issued with a different appearance and/or different accompanying data before or after the date NLM acquired it. NLM would like to hear about any changes in medication appearance or possible errors in accompanying information. Please contact if you notice any discrepancies in the information provided here.

Reference in this Web site to any specific commercial product, process, service, manufacturer, or company does not constitute its endorsement or recommendation by the U.S. government or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or any of its agencies. Neither the U.S. government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information disclosed.
Pillbox API

Pillbox’s API is now powered by the Socrata open data platform as part of the National Library of Medicine’s Data Discovery project.

Drug labeling information is known to have errors and inconsistencies. Listing firms may change data about their products at any time. Although NLM has made considerable effort to curate and validate the data and images in Pillbox, the accuracy of the data and the connection between an image and a product via a National Drug Code (NDC) cannot be guaranteed.
API Access and Documentation

Pillbox’s API documentation provides schema, query syntax, and sample code to assist in developing applications. The API provides limited access without developers sufficient for testing and exploration. Developers are encourage to register for a Socrata developer token to receive production-level access to the API.

Additionally, a Socrata developer token may also be used to access datasets provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Chronic Disease and Health Promotion Data & Indicators, as well as a variety of other federal, state, and local datasets utilizing the Socrata platform.

Developers are encouraged to also use the DailyMed and RxNorm APIs. These tools, also part of the National Library of Medicine, are extremely useful when developing medication-related products and services.
Data Exploration and Download

Pillbox’s data is sourced from drug labeling information submitted by pharmaceutical companies to the Food and Drug Administration, distributed by the National Library of Medicine via DailyMed. NLM’s RxNorm is used to enhance this data and provide connections to other data sources.

Drug labeling information is known to have errors and inconsistencies. Listing firms may change data about their products at any time. Although NLM has made considerable effort to curate and validate the data and images in Pillbox, the accuracy of the data and the connections between an image and a product via a National Drug Code (NDC) cannot be guaranteed.

Additional data are added to Pillbox in situations where there may be an error in the source data or where refining ambiguous data will improve search results. When data are added, the original data from the labels are preserved. The modified data are placed in fields beginning with the prefix pillbox_. These fields are used by the Pillbox website and API.
Master Data

Pillbox’s master dataset may be explored and downloaded at NLM’s Data Discovery. The site supports a variety of filters, visualizations, and other tools to assist in utilizing Pillbox’s data. The full dataset, as well as filtered versions can be downloaded in a variety of formats (csv, JSON, XML, Excel, etc.) by selecting Export on the Data Table.

This is the dataset was developed using the open source Pillbox Engine. Developed through a partnership with the HHS IDEA Lab’s Ignite program, the Pillbox Engine improves handling of the source data and curation/modification to improve data quality.
Image Downloads

Pillbox’s images are available for download as a full set. Due to repackaging and redistribution the same pill may appear may appear in multiple images. All images are in .jpg format.

The National Library of Medicine appreciates the contributions of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Medication Image Library program. Through this partnership, more than half of the images in Pillbox were photographed by the VA/MIL.

Drug labeling information is known to have errors and inconsistencies. Listing firms may change data about their products at any time. Although NLM has made considerable effort to curate and validate the data and images in Pillbox, the accuracy of the data and the connections between these images and products via a National Drug Code (NDC) cannot be guaranteed.

Only images tagged as SPL in the image_source field of the master data file have been verified by the drug label author and are part of the drug label.
Download the full image library (1GB) contains the 8,092 pill images currently displayed in Pillbox.
Terms of Service

The U.S. National Library of Medicine (“NLM”) offers some of its public data in machine-readable format via an Application Programming Interface (“API”). This service is offered subject to your acceptance of the terms and conditions contained herein as well as any relevant sections of the Website Policies and Privacy Policy (collectively, the “Agreements”).

All of the content, documentation, code and related materials made available to you through the API is subject to these terms. Access to or use of the API or its content constitutes acceptance to this Agreement.

You may use the Pillbox API to develop a service or service to search, display, analyze, retrieve, view and otherwise ‘get’ information from NLM Pillbox data.

All services which utilize or access the API should display the following notice prominently within the application: “This product uses publicly available data from the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services; NLM is not responsible for the product and does not endorse or recommend this or any other product.” You may use the NLM name in order to identify the source of API content subject to these rules. You may not use the NLM name, logo, or the like to imply endorsement of any product, service, or entity, not-for-profit, commercial or otherwise.
Modification or False Representation of Content

You may not modify or falsely represent content accessed through the API and still claim the source is NLM.
Right to Limit

Your use of the API may be subject to certain limitations on access, calls, or use as set forth within this Agreement or otherwise provided by NLM. If NLM reasonably believes that you have attempted to exceed or circumvent these limits, your ability to use the API may be permanently or temporarily blocked. NLM may monitor your use of the API to improve the service or to insure compliance with this Agreement.
Service Termination

If you wish to terminate this Agreement, you may do so by refraining from further use of the API. NLM reserves the right (though not the obligation) to (1) refuse to provide the API to you, if it is NLM’s opinion that use violates any NLM policy, or (2) terminate or deny you access to and use of all or part of the API at any time for any other reason in its sole discretion. All provisions of this Agreement which by their nature should survive termination shall survive termination including, without limitation, warranty disclaimers, indemnity, and limitations of liability.

NLM reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to modify or replace this Agreement, in whole or in part. Your continued use of or access to the API following posting of any changes to this Agreement constitutes acceptance of those modified terms. NLM may, in the future, offer new services and/or features through the API. Such new features and/or services shall be subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement.
Disclaimer of Warranties

The API is provided “as is” and on an “as-available” basis. NLM hereby disclaim all warranties of any kind, express or implied, including without limitation the warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. NLM makes no warranty that the API will be error free or that access thereto will be continuous or uninterrupted.
Limitations on Liability

In no event will NLM be liable with to respect to any subject matter of this Agreement under any contract, negligence, strict liability or other legal or equitable theory for: any special, incidental, or consequential damages; the cost of procurement of substitute products or services; for interruption of use or loss or corruption of data.
General Representations

You hereby warrant that (1) your use of the API will be in strict accordance with the NLM privacy policy, this Agreement, and all applicable laws and regulations, and (2) your use of the API will not infringe or misappropriate the intellectual property rights of any third party.

You agree to indemnify and hold harmless NLM, its contractors, employees, agents, and the like from and against any and all claims and expenses including attorney’s fees, arising out of your use of the API, including but not limited to violation of this Agreement.

This Agreement constitutes the entire Agreement between NLM and you concerning the subject matter hereof, and may only be modified by the posting of a revised version on this page by NLM.

Any disputes arising out of this Agreement and access to or use of the API shall be governed by federal law.
No Waiver of rights

NLM’s failure to exercise or enforce any right or provision of this Agreement shall not constitute waiver of such right or provision.

National Institutes of Health
U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services

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