The statistics include total sales of drugs with marketing authorisation in Norway.
The statistical tables are sorted according to the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) classification system, and the Defined Daily Dose is used as the unit of measurement.
ATC/DDD version from January 2019 is used in the report.
In the ATC system the drug substances are classified into groups at 5 different levels. The drugs 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.
Drug statistics using wholesales data are important basis for medical and health economic assessments. 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 use.
The statistics has some limitations also:
- drugs sold from wholesalers are not necessarily equal to what is actually consumed.
- the source of the data should always be considered when interpreting and evaluating drug use
- necessary limitations should be included in the conclusions.