The information flow (fig 1) is based on the Vnr as identity and carrier of all information for prescription and dispensing in Norway. The Vnrs carry information to facilitate the handling of the products and as a structural basis for drug statistics.
The stakeholders/operators receive customized updates from Farmalogg or NoMA as they may use different information elements linked to the Vnr or in some cases add their own elements. Some information elements which are coordinated between the systems are used by most operators. Information on pricing and reimbursement provided by NoMA and HELFO is used by many operators, as information on shelf life, storage and transportation mainly concern the wholesalers. Farmalogg add different types of information to the Vnrs for specific operators, as predefined labelling choices added for the pharmacies, subcategories for statistical use in addition to the statistical information provided by WHOCC.
Regardless of type of information element, it is of paramount importance to ensure that the Vnr represents a unique identity as defined by the Nordic instructions. As the Vnrs carry information for many different functions, changes must be handled with great care to avoid mix-ups.
Vnr vs. product code:
Each Vnr is linked to one product code. From 2018 more than one product code may be linked to each Vnr, thereby allowing easy transfer to new product code and corresponding barcode on the packs. The barcodes are used by wholesalers and pharmacies as the identifier in the physical handling of the medicines and is essential in the verification at the point of dispensing. This means that correct product codes and corresponding barcodes are vital for correct dispensing.