Vareregisteret is the entry point for all new products in the Norwegian market. Vareregisteret is a common, national article register for all Norwegian pharmacies and pharmaceutical wholesalers in Norway. The register includes with few exceptions all products sold through pharmacies, and contains information necessary for a safe and efficient handling and dispensing of the products from manufacturer/supplier, via wholesaler and retailer, to consumer. Vareregisteret is maintained by Farmalogg AS, a joint stock company owned by the Norwegian Pharmacy Association.
The operation of Vareregisteret is carried out by Farmalogg in cooperation with NoMA (Norwegian Medicines Agency), HELFO (The Norwegian Health Economics Administration), WHOCC (WHO Collaborating Centre for Drugs Statistics Methodology) and the pharmaceutical wholesalers. The information on the products listed in Vareregisteret is processed on data files exchanged between these partners twice a month.
FEST, maintained by NoMA, is a national database with all articles available for prescription in Norway, both first line- and specialized medicine (GPs, specialists, hospitals). FEST is available for the various systems for prescribing / EPJ (ElectronicPatientJournal). FEST is updated with information from Vareregisteret. Information from FEST, including information from the reimbursement system (HELFO), is included in Vareregisteret.
The management of the exchange of product information via FEST is essential for the coordination of information in the prescribing- and dispensing systems. This coordination is a prerequisite for the national system for electronic prescription. All information in the databases is carried by the Vnr, both the Nordic article numbers and national article numbers, as the identifier. Figure 1 gives an outline of the flow of information on medicines in Norway.