Authentic Source of Medicines (SAM)

The authentic source of medicinal products ("Source authentique des médicaments" in French or "SAM" for short) is the reference database of medicinal products made available as an open source database by medicines competent authorities.

Data available in SAM are managed by:

  • the FAMHP (authorisation data and information about the availability of medicinal products);
  • the Belgian Centre for Pharmacotherapeutic Information (BCFI/CBIP) (pharmacotherapeutic groups, e.g. INN clusters, and other data, e.g. tablet breakability);
  • the NIHDI (price of reimbursable medicines and conditions for reimbursement);
  • the FPS Economy (price of non-reimbursable medicines);
  • the Belgian Pharmaceutical Association (APB) (raw materials/magistral formulas - other products dispensed in pharmacies/non-medicinal products).

The information stored in SAM is made available as open data through the eHealth platform. SAM is also used as a source of data for many other applications (e. g. e-prescriptions).  

The data provided by the FAMHP are transferred in real time from the internal database for medicinal products Medicinal Product Management (MPM) to SAM, and so is the information about the availability of medicines, which is updated via PharmaStatus. The information from the FAMHP in SAM is thus up-to-date.

The SAM-viewer makes it possible to view the content of SAM. It is updated once a day.

For more information about SAM, please visit the SAM portal.


Recommendations for suppliers of prescription software about the order of presentation and selection of medicinal products and non-medicinal products
The FAMHP and the NIHDI wish to remind prescription software suppliers of a number of homologation requirements for the order of presentation and selection of medicinal products and non-medicinal products.
Since 1 January 2020, prescription software suppliers are required to use the authentic source of medicines (SAM) as a data source to prescribe medicinal products on an outpatient basis. This is the 'open data' reference database made available on the eHealth platform. Suppliers of software for family doctors must meet a number of homologation criteria.
For this kind of software, it is very important that the medicinal products are presented, selected and sequenced in a transparent manner. It is therefore part of the homologation requirements of such software.
The FAMHP and the NIHDI wish to remind  software suppliers of the need to respect these requirements both during the homologation process and afterwards. 

Last updated on 11/07/2023