Statement 2.3

Section 2

"Hospital pharmacists should coordinate the development, maintenance and use of a medicines formulary system, which may be local, regional and/or national. The medicine formulary system should be linked to guidelines, protocols and treatment pathways based on the best available evidence including patient outcomes and pharmacoeconomic evaluations where these are available."

What does it mean for patients? Patients can be assured that the medicines used in the hospital undergo a robust assessment process underlying the formulary system. Standardisation of concentrations of medicines should be used in order to avoid medication errors, increasing patient safety. Paediatric, neonatal and critical care patients are especially at risk of medication error and thus standardisation of medication use is very important in those groups.

What does it mean for healthcare professionals? Healthcare professionals must be aware that in the hospital all medicines prescribed and administered are selected based on an evidence based formulary system. This selection is linked to standard treatment guidelines, protocols and treatment pathways based on the best available evidence, supported by a reliable information system and also considering the risks associated with medicine use. Medicines will be provided in the formulation and concentrations appropriate for the patient groups in line with available resources.

What does it mean for Hospital Pharmacists? Hospital pharmacists should establish formulary system procedures linked to guidelines and evidence based pathways. A reliable information system should provide accurate, timely, and accessible information and should help to promote the use of standard concentrations of medicines.

In the selection of medicines for the formulary international, national and local treatment guidelines and protocols and manufacturer information should all be considered.
The formulary should be accompanied by a comprehensive internal information system to guarantee the proper use of the listed medicines. Accurate, timely, and accessible information should be available promoting the use of standard concentrations especially for high risk patient groups