The ATC classification of medicines is an international anatomical-therapeutic-chemical classification with established daily doses (Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System, ATC / DDD), which serves as a tool for studying the consumption of medicines in order to improve their quality.
The ATC classification was developed in the mid 70s of the last century, but only in 1990 it was published by the European Pharmaceutical Market Research Association (EPhMRA) - to determine the size and analysis of the drug market demand and maintain its competitiveness.
In the ATX classification system, drugs are divided into five groups depending on the organ or system to which they operate (the nosological principle), and also on the basis of their chemical, pharmacological and therapeutic properties.
Each drug receives one ATS-code, but sometimes - in the presence of several indications for use - several codes are given.
The ATC classification code has seven characters. The very first character of the code (in the form of a Latin letter) denotes the organs and systems affected by the drug. Such groups 14: A - digestive tract and metabolism, B - blood and blood-forming system, C - cardiovascular system, D - dermis (skin), G-genito-urinary system and sex hormones, H - hormonal drugs of systemic action (excluding sex ), J - means of systemic action against infections, L - antitumor agents and immunomodulators, M - musculoskeletal system, N - central and peripheral nervous system, P-antinarasitic drugs, insecticides and repellents, R - system and respiratory organs, S - sensory organs, V - other drug s.
Then follow two Arabic numerals (starting with 01), which indicate the main therapeutic use of the drug or its pharmacological properties.
The third sign of the code (one Latin letter) is the attribution of the drug to one or another therapeutic and / or pharmacological subgroup. The fourth sign (also the Latin letter) gives an idea of the therapeutic-chemical group of the drug. Next is the designation of the active chemical - the international non-proprietary name (INN), which is identified by two Arabic numerals and is its registration number in the WHO registry.
The ATC classification does not cover most combination medicines, phytopreparations and auxiliary therapeutic agents.