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I may be embarking on a project involving a fairly extensive healthcare records data set, looking for the use of a particular type of drug (for example, "Proton Pump Inhibitors"). But these drugs are usually listed by their trade or generic names - is there a well maintained resource for looking up what drugs are members of a certain class (if class is indeed the right word)?

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migrated from Apr 27 '12 at 22:48

up vote 10 down vote accepted

The WHO has their own methodology, the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC, thank you commenter) classification system, for organizing such data (its impetus is comparing results between studies).

Also, if you have $900 sitting around, you can get a subscription for the United States Pharmacopeia. I'm not sure if that can be spread across multiple subscriptions for an organization like the Red Book David mentions.

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+1 for the links & mention. Does WHO publish any public data we can use? That could be interesting... – David P. Hochman Dec 8 '11 at 13:38
@DavidP.Hochman I think all of the WHO's data are public, but I don't know where it is published. – jonsca Dec 8 '11 at 22:49
Good answer, ATC answers the question very nicely. I'd explicitly mention ATC on it to make extra clear what the methodology is. – Jaime de los Hoyos M. Dec 19 '11 at 1:20

Comprehensive, up-to-date drug information including trade names and categories are available from Micromedex® (a division of Thomson Reuters) in the RED BOOK.

It's free to use anywhere (even on a mobile device) by anyone in your organization ... after you pay the subscription fee. The fee for research is much less than the fee for commercial use.

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