How to Develop a National Formulary Based on the WHO Model Formulary - A Practical Guide
(2004; 45 pages) View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentAbbreviations
Open this folder and view contents1 INTRODUCTION
Open this folder and view contents2 OVERVIEW OF THE NATIONAL FORMULARY PROCESS
Open this folder and view contents3 DEVELOPING THE PRELIMINARY INFORMATION SECTION
Open this folder and view contents4 DEVELOPMENT OF THERAPEUTIC INFORMATION AND MONOGRAPHS USING THE WHO MODEL FORMULARY
Close this folder5 ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF INFORMATION
View the documentThe evidence-based approach in formulary development
View the documentInformation retrieval
Open this folder and view contentsTypes of source
Close this folderSearching for the best evidence
View the documentUsing tertiary sources
View the documentUsing secondary sources: evidence-based reviews and guidelines
View the documentSearching the primary literature
Open this folder and view contentsAccessibility
View the documentCritical appraisal
Open this folder and view contents6 DEVELOPING SPECIFIC INFORMATION SECTIONS
Open this folder and view contents7 PRODUCTION, DISTRIBUTION AND IMPLEMENTATION
Open this folder and view contents8 EVALUATION
Open this folder and view contents9 REVIEW AND UPDATE
View the documentREFERENCES
 

Using tertiary sources

The easiest and quickest way to find drug information is to consult major, comprehensive reference texts such as Martindale: The Complete Drug Reference, British national formulary or American Hospital Formulary Service (AHFS) Drug Information.

However, some of the disadvantages of textbooks should be borne in mind when retrieving drug or therapeutic information for the NF, i.e.

• Even in the latest reference books, some of the information (frequently that on management of diseases) can be 1-2 years out of date by the time the book is available to the reader. In the case of therapies where our knowledge is rapidly evolving, e.g. antiretroviral therapy, information from tertiary sources may prove to be inadequate. Frequently published manuals, such as the British national formulary, are an exception, as they are updated much more quickly than standard textbooks.

• Some reference texts such as the Physician’s desk reference or monthly index of medical specialties (MIMS) basically contain manufacturers' literature with potentially limited information (9, 10). It is important to bear in mind that manufacturers pay for the inclusion of their product information in these publications and often generic products are under-represented, whereas the latest expensive branded products dominate. Any information extracted from these sources must be carefully validated against other independent texts.

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