A Formulary for General Practice. Essential Drugs Monitor No. 003 (1986)
(1986; 1 page)


Dr. George Grant from the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Newcastle University believes the four precepts of the WHO Action Programme on Essential Drugs should be implemented in developed as well as developing nations. Grant noted a problem in the United Kingdom with over-prescription of drugs because they are fashionable rather than necessary. To solve this problem, Grant collaborated with two colleagues from Newcastle to research and compile a Formulary for General Practice for the United Kingdom. Drugs included on the list had to cover at least 90% of conditions seen in general practice, provide simple and affordable treatment for at least 90% of patients with these conditions, and be used as a tool for medical training for students. The list only included generic drugs that had been in use for at least five years. Cost was taken into consideration, but was not the most important factor. A special appendix to the formulary included drugs for emergencies or those mainly prescribed in hospitals. The list was compiled by general practitioners (GPs) and the first draft was submitted to approximately 20 GPs for modification. The secondary draft was then reviewed by 10 GPs who had not already been exposed to the list. After two years of modification, the formulary contained 143 of 17,000 possible drugs and formulations available in the United Kingdom. Because the formulary was developed by GPs and not the government, Grant believes it should be more widely accepted. (Abstract by Flannery Bowman, 2013)

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