Anatomical-therapeutic-chemical classification system
The anatomical-therapeutic-chemical classification system , officially Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical / Defined Daily Dose Classification, is an international classification for medicinal products developed in 1976 by the European Pharmaceutical Market Research Association (EPhMRA), then adapted and officially published in 1990 by the Collaborating Center for Drug Statistics of the World Health Organization .
The classification applies to substances , not to commercial preparations . In Germany, a version ATC / DDD - DIMDI (Version 17, 2020), adapted according to the fifth book of the Social Code (SGB V ), which also contains herbal substances, appears annually . Most of the commercially sold drug registers and catalogs are arranged (in addition to the central pharmaceutical number ) according to the ATC index of the individual substances.
The classification contains 5 levels. On the first level there are 15 main groups, which are based on the organ (e.g. heart ) or system ( e.g. blood circulation ) on which the medicinal substance unfolds its main effect. The second and third levels are therapy groups or subgroups; the fourth and fifth levels are ordered according to chemical structure.
General explanation of the ATC code
Level 1: Letter for the anatomical group. There are 15 different ones:
- ATC A - Alimentary System and Metabolism
- ATC B - blood and blood-forming organs
- ATC C - Cardiovascular System
- ATC D - Dermatics
- ATC G - Urogenital System and Sex Hormones
- ATC H - hormones , systemic (without sex hormones )
- ATC J - anti-infectives for systemic administration
- ATC L - Antineoplastic and Immunomodulating Substances
- ATC M - muscular and skeletal system
- ATC N - nervous system
- ATC P - Antiparasitic Substances , Insecticides , Repellants
- ATC Q - Veterinary Medicines
- ATC R - respiratory tract
- ATC S - sense organs
- ATC V - Various
Level 2: Main therapeutic group (2 digits)
Level 3: Therapeutic / pharmacological subgroup (one letter)
Level 4: chemical / therapeutic / pharmacological subgroup (one letter)
Level 5: Subgroup of the chemical substance (2 digits)
Level 2 ATC codes
ATC A - Alimentary System and Metabolism
ATC B - blood and blood-forming organs
ATC C - Cardiovascular System
ATC D - Dermatics
ATC G - Urogenital System and Sex Hormones
ATC H - hormones, systemic (without sex hormones)
ATC J - anti-infectives for systemic administration
ATC L - Antineoplastic and Immunomodulating Substances
ATC M - muscular and skeletal system
ATC N - nervous system
ATC P - Antiparasitic Substances, Insecticides, Repellants
ATC Q - Veterinary Medicines
ATC R - respiratory tract
ATC S - sense organs
ATC V - Various
Explanation using the example of acetylsalicylic acid
A substance can have different codes depending on the application and dosage .
Use as an inhibitor of platelet aggregation
1st letter: B
Stands for the group of substances that influence " blood and blood-forming organs".
2nd number: 01
3rd letter: A
Stands for the subgroup "Antithrombotic drugs". That this sub-sub-group is called exactly like the sub-group before (the 2nd level) is not the same everywhere. The antithrombotic agents simply cannot be sub-grouped more finely.
4th letter: C
5th number: 06
The ATC code B01AC06 therefore stands for all medicinal products with the solitary active ingredient acetylsalicylic acid.
Use as a pain reliever
The acetylsalicylic acid used as a pain reliever in a dose other than its function as a platelet aggregation inhibitor can also be classified in another ATC code: N02BA01
1st letter: N
Stands for the organ system nervous system
2nd number: 02
Stands for analgesics
3rd letter: B
Stands for subgroup "Other analgesics and antipyretics ".
4th letter: A
5th number: 01
Stands for acetylsalicylic acid
- Uwe Fricke, Judith Günther, Anette Zawinell: Methodology of the ATC classification and the DDD definition . Scientific Institute of the AOK , Bonn 2006, ISBN 3-922093-40-X .
- WHO Collaborating Center for Drug Statistics
- Website for downloading the ATC index with DDD information (Defined Daily Doses) for Germany from the German Institute for Medical Documentation and Information
- ATC / DDD classification as PDF version year 2020 (3.7 MB)
- Scientific institute of the AOK Information reference page of the official version of the ATC index for Germany
- DrugBase Index Nominum (International Drug and Drug Database of the Swiss Pharmacists' Association)
- Official ATC classification with DDD published for 2020 , PM DIMDI of December 27, 2019, accessed on December 27, 2019