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Formulary Management


The Government Formulary List

Formulary Management 
  • To implement EU legislation in the field of formulary management; 
  • To establish, maintain and periodically review the Government National Formulary for pharmaceuticals in the Government Health Service; 
  • To set service wide protocols governing prescribing and the rational use of medicines; 
  • To provide advice and technical assistance in the establishment of technical specifications; 
  • To issue circulars related to formulary management; 
  • To consult and correspond continuously with the various stakeholders – consultants, pharmacists, general practitioners, pharmacy technicians and patients;
  • To optimise analysis of information and evaluate clinical evidence in order to draw up prescribing guidelines and development of a systematic rational approach for prescribing and drug use through the utilisation of international health technology assessment.

The Government Formulary List includes medicinal products, vitamins, food supplements and borderline substances.

Medicinal products are either listed as non-proprietary medicines according to the International Non-proprietary Name (INN), or are listed as a therapeutic class (for those products that are deemed therapeutically or clinically, equivalent or similar). Each medicinal product is classified according to the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification (ATC Code), depending on the indications for which it is approved. A medicinal product may at times be approved for one or more indications.

Currently the Government Formulary List consists of the non-proprietary name of the medicinal products (INN), the dosage form and dosage strength, the disease category and the ATC code. The list contains further information such as the prescriber criteria ie. the category of physicians who are entitled to prescribe a particular medicine, the specific department for which a medicine is being procured, and the pink card positive ie. the entitlement to a particular medicine, for those patients holding a pink card. At times a medicine protocol (MP) is attached to a medicinal product, restricting its use within the National Health Service. The protocol is written in a defined format and stipulates the use of such a medicine.

A glossary of terms used in the Government Formulary List is available for ease of reference.

Apart from the Government Formulary List, a specified Out Patient’s Formulary list is being made available. This list is intended for use by the Pharmacy Of Your Choice (POYC) scheme, and government pharmacies. Medicines listed on the out-patients formulary were mapped to the corresponding chronic conditions as per schedule V of the Social Security Act. This was done following extensive research through established guidelines and consultations with different stakeholders. Some of the medicines are further regulated by set protocols available here. The Out Patient's Formulary should be used in conjunction with said protocols.

Pink card positive drugs were further classified into acute (A), chronic (C) and both acute and chronic use (B).

(A) – Items for Acute Use
Medicinals are classified as (A) for conditions where treatment should have a rapid onset and is of short duration.

(C) – Items for Chronic Use
Medicinals are classified as being for chronic use if they are utilized for the treatment of an ongoing or recurring condition.

(B) – Items for Both Acute and Chronic use
These medicines can be used for both acute and chronic use according to the condition.





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