One reason for coding drugs is to more simply detect duplicate therapy. The Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) classification is an example of such a coding system.


Comparison of 2 Drugs


both drugs contain the same active ingredient

double medication

both drugs do not contain the same active ingredient but both have similar pharmacodynamic properties

pseudo-double medication


Two medications may have the same active ingredient but different release characteristics (one rapid onset and the second slow release).


There may be subsets to the pseudo-double medication. Two drugs of the same class might be one. Another might be two drugs of different classes that act at the same receptor.


For combination products all of the ingredient codes should be specified in order detect duplicate therapy.


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