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Drug Consumption in Norway 2013–2017

  • Year: 2018
  • By: Norwegian Institute of Public Health
  • Authors Solveig Sakshaug S (red), Strøm H, Berg C, Blix HS, Litleskare I, Granum T.
  • ISSN (digital): 1890-9647
  • ISBN (digital): 978-82-8082-916-0
Dette er et bilde av forsiden på rapporten "Legemiddelforbruket i Norge 2013–2017"

The figures are based on sales from all drug wholesalers in Norway and include sales of over the counter medicines available in non-pharmacy outlets.



Key message

The statistics include the total sale of drugs with marketing authorisation in Norway. In tables where products with no marketing authorisationare, this will be specified. The sales data given in Norwegian currency include authorised medicines only.

The statistics follow the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) classification system. Defined daily doses (DDD) are used as a unit of measurement in the statistics.

The ATC/DDD version valid from January 2018 is used in the report.

ATC classification

In the ATC system the substances are classified into groups at 5 different levels. The medicines are divided into 14 main groups (1st level), then further divided into pharmacological/therapeutic subgroups (2nd level). The 3rd and 4th levels are chemical/pharmacological/therapeutic subgroups and the 5th level is the chemical substance (active ingredient).

Assessment and use of drug statistics

Drug statistics based in sale from wholesalers are important basis for medical and health economic assements. The statistics can be used to:

  • monitor trends in drug use over time at various levels and therapeutic areas
  • measure the effect of regulatory changes and informational efforts
  • define needs for further monitoring of drug use

The statistics has some limitations also. It should be emphasised that sales from wholesalers are not necessarily equal to what is actually consumed. In the evaluation and interpretation of drug utilisation the limitations of the data should be considered.