The figures are based on sales from all drug wholesalers in Norway and include sales of over the counter medicines which are available in non pharmacy outlets. The statistics include the total sale of drugs with authorisation in Norway. If unregistered drugs are included in the figures, this will be specified in the footnote. The sales figures given in Norwegian kroner only include authorised drugs.
All drugs sold from wholesalers are not necessarily consumed. The basis for the figures must always be included in interpretations and assessments of drug consumption, and necessary reservations must be linked to the conclusions.
The statistics follow the ATC classification system. Defined daily doses (DDD) are used as a unit of measurement when preparing the figures.
The ATC/DDD version that applies from January 2017 is used in the report.
Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) classification
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 based in sale from wholesalers are important basis for medical and health economic assements. The statistics can be used to:
- survey consumption, and hence therapy, on different levels and during time
- measure the effect of legislative changes and informational efforts
- define needs for further investigation of drug therapy traditions
The following limitations should however be kept in mind when using the statistics:
- all medicaments sold from the wholesalers are not necessarily consumed
- sales intended for use in general practice and institutions are not treated separately in this report’s statistical material.
A special publication concerning medicines consumption, Medicines Consumption in the Nordic Countries 2004-2008, was published in 2010. The publications can be ordered from the Nordic MedicoStatistical Committee (Artillerivej 5, DK-2300 Copenhagen, Denmark), or from the website: www.nowbase.org. Figures for 2015 are published in the Health statistics in the Nordic countries 2016, also available from the website.