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edited by AIFA’s Office of Osmed and HTA


A person's own perceptions, experience and evaluation of a disease or condition, or how he or she feels. For example, an individual may feel pain, discomfort, weakness, depression or anxiety, but a disease may or may not be present. [Source: WHO. A Glossary of Terms for Community Health Care and Services for Older Persons]
An in-patient is a patient who is formally admitted (or “hospitalised”) to an institution for treatment and/or care and stays for a minimum of one night in the hospital or other institution providing in-patient care. In-patient care is mainly delivered in hospitals, but partially also in nursing and residential care facilities or in establishments that are classified according to their focus of care under the ambulatory-care industry but perform in-patient care as a secondary activity. It should be noted that the term “in-patient” used in the OECD-SHA has a wider meaning compared to some national reporting systems where this term is limited to in-patient care in hospitals. Included are services delivered to in-patients in prison and army hospitals, tuberculosis hospitals, and sanatoriums. In-patient care includes accommodation provided in combination with medical treatment when the latter is the predominant activity provided during the stay as an in-patient. On the other hand, accommodation in institutions providing social services, where health care is an important but not predominant component should not be included in the health function. Examples might include institutions such as homes for disabled persons, nursing homes, and residential care for substance abuse patients. [Source: OECD. A System of Health Accounts]
A parameter that aims to describe, in a few numbers as much detail as possible about a system, to help understand, compare, predict, improve, and innovate. .Indicators serve two major functions: They reduce the number of measurements and parameters that normally would be required to give a accurate picture of a situation, and they facilitate the communication process for providing the reader with the results of measurement. [Source: adapted from NHS – the good indicators guide] Structural, process and outcome indicators can be distinguished. Indicator data can either be quantitative or qualitative. Structural indicators: These indicators provide qualitative information to assess the pharmaceutical system's capacity to achieve its policy objectives. They are intended to check whether the key structures/systems/mechanisms necessary to implement a pharmaceutical policy exist in the country (e.g. POM dispensaries) Process indicators: Process indicators assess the degree to which activities necessary to attain the objectives are carried out and their progress over time (e.g. pricing policies). Outcome indicators: These indicators measure the results achieved and the changes that can be attributed to the implementation of a policy (e.g. life expectancy). [Source: adapted from WHO. Indicators for Monitoring National Drug Policies]
Informal payments are payments to health care professionals in cash or in kind made outside official remuneration for these services by third party payers. They are usually provided by patients.
Informal payments are payments to health care professionals in cash or in kind made outside official remuneration for these services by third party payers. They are usually provided by patients.
Administration, from a syringe or other rigid or collapsible container e.g. plastic bag, of a volume of sterile solution of an injectable medicine directly into a tissue, organ, vein or artery, at a constant rate, under gravity or by means of an electronic or mechanical pump or other means of rate control, over a defined period usually of at least 10 minutes. [Source: National Patient Safety Agency. Patient Safety Alert No. 20]
Sterile medicines intended for administration by bolus injection, perfusion or infusion by any of the following routes: intravenous, intramuscular, intrathecal, intra-arterial, subcutaneous, intradermal, intraventricular, epidural, intravesicular, intravitreal, intrapleural and intraocular. An injectable medicine is Ready-to-administer when it requires no further dilution or reconstitution and is presented in the final container or device, ready for administration or connection to a needle or administration set. For example, an infusion in a bag with no additive required. An injectable medicine is Ready-to-use when it requires no further dilution or reconstitution before transfer to an administration device. For example, a liquid with an ampule, of the required concentration, that only needs to be drawn up into a syringe. [Source: National Patient Safety Agency. Patient Safety Alert No. 20]
An interchangeable pharmaceutical product is one which is therapeutically equivalent to a comparator product and can be interchanged with the comparator in clinical practice. [Source: WHO. MultiSource (generic) pharmaceutical products: guidelines on registration requirements to establish interchangeability]
Mechanism of cooperation between the hospital and the out-patient sector.
The practice of using the price(s) of identical medicines (ATC 5 level) or similar products (ATC 4 level) or even with therapeutical equivalent treatment (not necessarily a medicine) in a country in order to derive a benchmark or reference price for the purposes of setting or negotiating the price or reimbursement of the product in a given country. [Source: adapted from PPRI Glossary]
The WHO international standard diagnostic classification coding system used for all general epidemiological and many health management purposes. The purpose of the ICD is to permit the systematic recording, analysis, interpretation and comparison of mortality and morbidity data collected in different countries or areas and at different times.
A classification of health and health-related domains that describe body functions and structures, activities and participation. The domains are classified from body, individual and societal perspectives. Since an individual's functioning and disability occurs in a context, this classification includes a list of environmental factors. [Source: WHO. A Glossary of Terms for Community Health Care and Services for Older Persons]
A classification of diseases, conditions and other reasons for attendance for primary care. This classification is an adaptation of the ICD but makes allowance for the diagnostic uncertainty that prevails in primary care. [Source: WHO. A Glossary of Terms for Community Health Care and Services for Older Persons]
The official classification of the World Health Organisation of Family Doctors. It includes three elements of the doctor-patient encounter: the reason for the encounter; the diagnosis; and the treatment or other action or intervention. [Source: WHO. A Glossary of Terms for Community Health Care and Services for Older Persons]
The shortened scientific name based on the active ingredient. WHO is responsible for assigning INNs to pharmaceutical substances. INN is a unique name that is globally recognised and is public property. Since its inception, the aim of the INN system has been to provide health professionals with a unique and universally available designated name to identify each pharmaceutical substance. The existence of an international nomenclature for pharmaceutical substances, in the form of INN, is important for the clear identification, safe prescription and dispensing of medicines to patients, and for communication and exchange of information among health professionals and scientists worldwide. As unique names, INN have to be distinctive in sound and spelling, and should not be liable to confusion with other names in common use. To make INN universally available they are formally placed by WHO in the public domain, hence their designation as "non-proprietary". They can be used without any restriction whatsoever to identify pharmaceutical substances. Another important feature of the INN system is that the names of pharmacologically-related substances demonstrate their relationship by using a common "stem". By the use of common stems the medical practitioner, the pharmacist, or anyone dealing with pharmaceutical products can recognise that the substance belongs to a group of substances having similar pharmacological activity. Non-proprietary names are intended for use in pharmacopoeias, labelling, product information, advertising and other promotional material, medicine regulation and scientific literature, and as a basis for product names, e.g. for generics. Their use is normally required by national or, as in the case of the European Community, by international legislation. As a result of ongoing collaboration, national names such as British Approved Names (BAN), Dénominations Communes Françaises (DCF), Japanese Adopted Names (JAN) and United States Adopted Names (USAN) are nowadays, with rare exceptions, identical to the INN. To avoid confusion, which could jeopardise the safety of patients, trade-marks cannot be derived from INN and, in particular, must not include their common stems. [Source: WHO. Guidance on INN]
INN prescribing refers to physicians prescribing medicines by its INN, i.e. the active ingredient name instead of the brand name. INN prescribing may be allowed (indicative INN prescribing) or required (mandatory INN prescribing).
Umbrella term for retailers of POM and OTC medicines who sell their products via the World Wide Web
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