(2004; 45 pages)
Selection of medicines to be included in the national formulary
One of the most important decisions to be made by the NFC is what medicines to include in the NF, or what is on the formulary list. The starting point for the formulary list should be the existing essential medicines list (EML). The NFC may consider the addition of selected medicines to this list based on clear criteria that reflect the main purpose of the NF.
In countries without any EML or other approved national medicine list, it will be necessary to gain some insight on drug needs and use for the compilation of the formulary list based on:
- national morbidity data to determine patterns of prevalent diseases;
- recommendations of appropriate national, regional or international clinical guidelines to link selection of medicines to evidence-based treatment guidelines;
- original research and review papers, particularly local research;
- the list of pharmaceuticals registered by the national drug regulatory authority and currently marketed in the country (to assess availability and cost); and
- available financial, human and health facility resources, and demographic, genetic and environmental factors.