netFormulary NHS
Coventry and Warwickshire Area Prescribing Committee


The aim of the formulary

The main aim of this formulary is to promote safe, evidence-based, cost-effective prescribing.

Limiting the range of medicines included in the formulary and promoting the use of generic
medicines where appropriate:-

  • Enhances safety through familiarity with the medicines in use in the hospital by all staff
    involved in the prescribing, dispensing and administration of medicines
  • Ensures efficient use of NHS resources
  • Ensures efficient use of limited storage space both within the hospital pharmacies and
    on the wards, enhances good stock control and reduces the pharmacy stock holding

Development of the formulary
The formulary has been drawn up following full and wide consultation with consultant medical
staff, senior pharmacists and other interested parties and has been approved by the joint
UHMB NHS Trust, Cumbria PCT & North Lancs PCT Drugs and Therapeutics Group.
The most up to date version will be accessible and maintained in an electronic format on the
UHMB intranet. Updates are made bi-monthly following the joint Drug and Therapeutics
Group meetings.

How should the formulary be used?
Formulary drugs, including the range of approved preparations for each drug, are listed
according to the BNF classification system. Unlicensed drugs and preparations approved for
use in the hospital are included in the most relevant section.

First, second, and occasionally third line drugs are indicated where appropriate. First line
drugs should be used unless there is a contraindication; the patient has suffered an adverse
effect, or has not responded to the first line drug.

The formulary is not intended to replace the BNF which will need to be referred to for
information on licensed indications, contraindications, cautions, side-effects, interactions and
dosage etc. (also available online at ).

Does the formulary apply to out-patient prescribing including referrals to GPs?
In general yes, as it is our aim to promote safe, evidence-based, cost effective prescribing in
primary care also. However there are some medicines that are not stocked by the hospital
pharmacies and hence are not included in the formulary simply because we would not expect
them to be initiated whilst patients are in hospital or in out-patients e.g. topical preparations
for acne, drugs for smoking cessation, HRT (only a very limited range of NRT & HRT is

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