WHOCC
Postal address:
WHO Collaborating Centre for Drug Statistics Methodology
Norwegian Institute of Public Health
P.O.Box 4404 Nydalen
0403 Oslo
Norway

Visiting/delivery address:
Marcus Thranes gate 6
0473 Oslo
Norway

Tel:  +47 21 07 81 60
Fax: +47 21 07 81 46
E-mail:
 
Copyright/Disclaimer

Classification of combined preparations

Preparations containing two or more active components are classified as combined products in accordance with the principles of the ATC system. The main therapeutic use decides which ATCvet code is to be used.

Combined products are classified according to two main principles:

  1. Combined preparations containing two or more active components not belonging to the same therapeutic 4th level group are classified using 50-series codes.
     
    E.g.:
    QJ01AA06 Oxytetracycline (plain)
    QJ01AA56 Oxytetracycline, combinations
     
    Combined preparations with the same main active ingredient are usually given the same ATCvet code. Thus oxytetracycline + flunixin and oxytetracycline + neomycin are both assigned the code QJ01A A56.
     
  2. Combined preparations containing two or more active ingredients belonging to the same therapeutic 4th level group are classified using the 5th level codes 20 or 30.
     
    E.g.:
    QJ01CA Penicillins with extended spectrum
    QJ01CA02 Pivampicillin
    QJ01CA08 Pivmecillinam
    QJ01CA20 Combinations
     
    For example, pivampicillin and pivmecillinam, and any other combinations including two or more active ingredients belonging to QJ01CA - Penicillins with extended spectrum, are given the ATCvet code QJ01CA20.

Combinations of substances used exclusively in veterinary medicine have earlier been given the 5th level code 99.

Separate ATCvet 3rd or 4th level codes have been assigned to certain important combinations, e.g. QJ51R - Combinations of antibacterials for intramammary use.

The main therapeutic use decides which ATCvet code is to be used. A preparation containing vitamins and iron used primarily as an iron preparation should be classified in QB03 - Antianemic preparations. Likewise, a product containing vitamins and antibiotics should be assigned to QJ - Antiinfectives for systemic use.

The sequence of classification codes of combined products should as far as possible agree with the order of classification of the single substances in question. In some ATCvet groups a ranking is needed to help in the classification of combination products (e.g. in QN02B and QJ51R). This ranking shows which substances take precedence over others when the classification is decided. 

Last updated: 2013-12-19