The Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) Classification System is used for the classification of active ingredients of drugs according to the organ or system on which they act and their therapeutic,pharmacological and chemical properties. It is controlled by the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Drug Statistics Methodology (WHOCC), and was first published in 1976.
This pharmaceutical coding system divides drugs into different groups according to the organ or system on which they act and/or their therapeutic and chemical characteristics. Each bottom-level ATC code stands for a pharmaceutically used substance, or a combination of substances, in a single indication (or use). This means that one drug can have more than one code: acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin), for example, has A01as a drug for local oral treatment, B01 as a platelet inhibitor, and N02 as an analgesic andantipyretic. On the other hand, several different brands share the same code if they have the same active substance and indications.
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