The Pillbox for Developers

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.

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. Contact us with any questions or comments at pillbox@mail.nih.gov.

Developer resources:

Disclaimer
Terms of Service
Application Programming Interface (API)
Data downloads
Image downloads

Disclaimer

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 pillbox@mail.nih.gov 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.

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 www.nlm.nih.gov Website Policies and Privacy Policy (collectively, the “Agreements”).

Scope

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.

Use

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.

Attribution

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.

Changes

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.

Indemnification

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.

Miscellaneous

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.

Disputes

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.

Application Programming Interface (API)

Pillbox’s API provides access to a search system designed to identify unknown pills. This system makes modifications to queries based on our knowledge of the data to provide results with greater relevancy.

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 keys and documentation
API keys are available by registering. API documentation is available on GitHub.

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 downloads

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.

Pillbox data is modified in situations where there may be an error in the source data or where refining ambiguous data will improve search results. When changes are made, the original data from the drug labels are preserved. The modified data are placed in fields ending in _new. These fields are used by the Pillbox website and API.
Master data

pillbox_201605.txt is the data currently powering Pillbox. The first line of the file is a header with field names. Fields are separated by tabs.

This is dataset uses the open source Pillbox Engine. The Pillbox Engine improves handling of the source data and curation/modification to improve data quality. When the source data is modified based on review of data and images, a separate field is created, leaving the source data intact and available. For example, splcolor contains the original values from the labeling data. splcolor_new contains curated/modified data based on review of the data and images and is used for the Pillbox website and API.
Support data
pillbox_color_lookup.csv contains the FDA codes for color used in Pillbox and the accepted terms (blue, red, etc.)

pillbox_DEA_lookup.csv contains the FDA codes for DEA schedule using in Pillbox and the accepted terms (CII, CIII, etc.)

pillbox_sgape_lookup.csv contains the FDA codes for shape using in Pillbox and the accepted terms (round, capsule, etc.)

Image downloads
Pillbox’s images are available for download as a full set or in individual sets based on their source. Because of repackaging and redistribution the same pill may appear may appear in multiple images. All images are in .jpg format.

The National Library of Medicine would like to recognize the contributions of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Medication Image Library (VA/MIL) 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 (the company that markets a drug) and are part of the drug label.

Image library
pillbox_production_images_full_201605.zip (1GB) contains the 8,121 pill images displayed in Pillbox.

Nat’l Library of Medicine Nat’l Institutes of Health U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services Copyright Accessibility

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