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The AMT: focusing on medicines

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AMT stands for the Australian Medicines Terminology and it’s a subset of SNOMED CT-AU (in the same way that a chapter is part of a book). The AMT is the preferred national medicines terminology for Australia. It has been endorsed by all state and territory governments.

About the AMT

The AMT identifies and describes medicines in a standardised format that includes:

  • product trade name
  • dosage form
  • strength
  • pack size
  • container type.
This diagram shows information about Panadeine recorded in the AMT..

In the AMT, medicines terms are coded and linked. These links create meaning and enable computers to automatically interpret data entered by health professionals.

In action

The AMT makes it possible for all Australians to access a list of medicines that they have been prescribed or dispensed through My Health Record.

Why a standard format for medicines?

When different software e.g. GP software and pharmacy software, describes medicines using different terms and codes, it causes confusion when data is exchanged. This can lead to errors with:

  • recording
  • prescribing
  • dispensing
  • administration.

Patient safety is put at risk.

When clinical software throughout Australia uses the same medicines terminology, errors will be reduced and patients will be safer.

In action

A GP prescribes a medicine and issues an electronic prescription. A pharmacist scans the prescription and dispenses the correct medicine. Standardised medicines terminology is a critical part of the digital health ecosystem that makes this possible.


Potential benefits of using the AMT include:

  • reducing errors resulting from incorrect or misinterpreted medicines information
  • reliably recording medicines information in digital patient records
  • sharing a patient’s list of medicines (this is called interoperability) more easily
  • complying with legal requirements for prescribing and dispensing medicines
  • linking the AMT concept to the physical form of the product in the supply chain, which helps when medicines are recalled.

Who should use it

We want every organisation in Australia that deals with medicines data to use the AMT.

Many software vendors are already using it. See who’s using the AMT.

How to get it

We provide instant access to the AMT in a variety of formats.

Please contact us so we can advise on the best implementation approach.

More information

Considering implementing

Healthcare providers and software vendors: please get in touch so we can advise on the best approach.

Call 1300 901 001
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