The construct you are suggesting (using LIKE, nor CONTAINS) is not supported with the IF statement of a DATA step. I am unfamiliar with the SAS-supported Perl regular expressions - others may have some input there?
Yeah, I was wondering if there was something similar to Like or contains but couldn't find it for an IF statement.
Could I possibly trick it using a macro variable? constructing a macro variable that uses a "LIKE"?
Correction: SAS currently supports the WHERE clause (PROC SQL) and WHERE statement (PROC and DATA step), which in turn supports use of the LIKE and CONTAINS operators.
It's up to SAS users to voice their support for these types of features, through the SASWare Ballot system.
With reading the SGF paper (link below), apparently a Perl-like regular expression may be your answer. Digest at your own speed though! I tend to step away from the keyboard/cursor when it comes to Perl expressions.