The THREE LETTER CODE (TLC) was introduced as a dosage Form Code in the audits during the middle of the 1960s.
A large number of new dosage forms have appeared since that time and it was considered that revision of the system was required in order that a unified, worldwide classification could be developed. The Annual General Meeting of EphMRA in 1984 decided to create a Working Party to discuss suggested improvements to the classification, and members were appointed from representative countries and IMS. This group based their work upon proposals which were already under consideration between some members and IMS.
The result of the Working Party deliberations was the NEW FORM CODE (NFC) which was accepted for worldwide introduction at the 1985 AGM of EphMRA. At that meeting it was also agreed that the New Form Code Committee should assume responsibility for further improvements and development of the NFC in addition to the allocation of correct codes.
In 1988 the NFC replaced the TLC in the audits and on the databases. As far as possible the conversion had been completed automatically using IMS programs based on the "form descriptions". Where that description was incorrect, assistance was given by the NFC Committee. All users are requested to inform either IMS or members of the NFC Committee if they discover an error or believe that a code allocation may be in doubt.
Since the main objective of the NFC is to maintain an international uniformity of the coding structure for the audits and the databases, it is important that the classification remains simple and easy to understand. Only if this is achieved for all forms and countries will it be possible to use the code for international investigation of dosage forms.
These notes are known as the New Form Code Classification Guidelines, and are intended to be used in conjunction with the Classification. This English version of the Guidelines is the authorised, definitive version produced by EphMRA.
Within these Guidelines the terms "active ingredient" and "active substance" are synonymous and used interchangeably. These terms cover chemical, biological, biotechnical, living (e.g. fly larvae) and synthetic agents and extracts be they tissue, plant or natural.