Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Moving with the times
  1. David Phizackerley
  1. DTB, BMJ Journals, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to David Phizackerley, DTB, BMJ Journals, London, UK; dphizackerley{at}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

In the UK, the British National Formulary (BNF) is one of the few medical publications that is used every day by thousands of doctors, nurses and pharmacists to support patient care. It more than meets its aim of providing ‘prescribers, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals with sound up-to-date information about the use of medicines’ and it has helped several generations of healthcare professionals to prescribe safely.1 Given its status as ‘the definitive UK source of practical guidance on how to use, and not misuse, drug therapy’, it is worth reflecting on the announcement that the 86th edition of the BNF and the 2023–2024 edition of the BNF for Children (BNFC) will be the last print issues to be purchased by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for the NHS in England.2 3

A national formulary, in various guises, has been in use for over 80 years and predates the NHS. In 1941, a National War Formulary was published to provide ‘a …

View Full Text


  • Competing interests None declared. Refer to the online supplementary files to view the ICMJE form(s).

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.