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Keywords:

  • drug and therapeutics committee;
  • drug formulary

The widespread availability of authoritative guidance on prescribing from a wide variety of international and national bodies calls into question the need for additional local formulary advice. This article describes contemporary local formulary management in the United Kingdom and discusses the areas where local decision making remains valuable. Local formularies can fulfil important roles which justify their continued existence, including ensuring local ownership and acceptance of advice, rapid dissemination of information, responsiveness to local circumstances and service design, sensitivity to local pricing arrangements and close professional links with commissioners, pharmacists and prescribers.