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Constructing a practice formulary: a learning exercise


Practice formularies are part of the government’s GP Indicative Prescribing Scheme. The Department of Health (DH) recommends that they should be locally developed and owned, preferably at the practice level. Their development should be voluntary and so should compliance with them.1 The DH has asked Family Health Service Authorities (FHSAs) to help practices that wish to develop a formulary, acknowledging that it is time-consuming. This help might come from the newly appointed independent FHSA Medical Advisers and from District Pharmaceutical Officers and their staff, especially the drug information pharmacists. Practices may also use the Royal College of General Practitioners’ guide on producing a practice formulary.2 But is it reasonable to expect GPs to devote hours to devising their own formulary? Are the resources needed to support this work likely to be available, and what problems may arise if they are not?

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