AHFS Pharmacologic-Therapeutic Classification System

The AHFS Pharmacologic-Therapeutic Classification System, developed and maintained by ASHP, has been in use in hospitals and health-systems for over 60 years as a logical way to group drugs for easy comparison during P&T Committee meetings as well as aggregate reporting on drugs for utilization and billing. The internationally known and widely used classification is developed by a professional staff of pharmacists and clinicians, and engages the expertise of pharmacist specialists in the field.

The AHFS Pharmacologic-Therapeutic Classification System includes:

  • Grouping of drugs with similar pharmacologic, therapeutic, and/or chemical characteristics in a 4-tier hierarchy
  • Components that would normally fall outside the scope of AHFS Drug Information but need to be included as a placeholder for specific customers’ needs

This Classification is updated annually with the possibility of intermediate updates being published throughout the year and available:

  • With optional companion mapping tables to the US National Drug Code (NDC) and RxNorm identifiers
  • In delimited ASCII file format for easy import into a relational database

Remarks from an environmental scan of formulary structures and drug classification systems conducted by Booz Allen Hamilton revealing the widespread use of the AHFS classification system

a key reference and starting point for formulary development ... it's readily available and universally accepted by physicians. Booz Allen Hamilton
recognized standard for systemic classification of drugs that uses a coding system to organize drugs Booz Allen Hamilton

Featured Partners

Included in the data structure of major pharmacy information database and systems vendors.
Featured logos


Contact Us 

If you are interested in learning more about our ASHP and AHFS Drug Databases, please complete the Contact Us form and an ASHP representative will be in contact.

Contact Us