(2004; 45 pages)
The evidence-based approach in formulary development
Any new information included in the NF should promote the rational and evidence-based use of medicines. Evidence-based drug therapy means integrating the best, currently available clinical evidence from scientific research with the individual clinical expertise of the prescriber to improve patient care. Informing prescribers about current evidence-based practices and national guidelines can help close the gap between research findings and their implementation in routine practice. Therefore a NF presenting such up-to-date information can be a valuable educational tool in the promotion of evidence-based drug therapy.
When trying to fill gaps in the drug and therapeutics information included in the NF, there are three important questions that need to be answered.
• Where do we find the information?
• Is this the most up-to-date and valid information?
• How relevant and applicable is this information to our local conditions?
Answering these questions requires good information retrieval and critical appraisal skills. The editors and the NFC can be assisted with both of these tasks by experienced health information specialists, such as medical librarians or personnel from national drug information centres and independent drug bulletins. The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia5 (SHPA) has an international register of drug information services on its web site and the International Society of Drug Bulletins6 (ISDB) also lists contact addresses for independent drug information bulletins around the world.
5 SHPA http://www.shpa.org.au/frame.htm
6 ISDB http://www.isdbweb.org