Drug Status Key

  • On Formulary
  • Specialist Initiation
  • Shared Care
  • Hospital Only


  • First Line
  • Second Line
  • Third Line
  • No Preference

Using the Formulary

Formulary layout

This website is structured as closely as possible to the British National Formulary (BNF) at the time of writing. The pages found under 'Therapeutic Sections' in this formulary share the section headings found in the BNF.

This formulary has been written using the generic names for most items. However brand names have been used on some pages, for example;

  • Combination products such as oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
  • Items that have safety issues (e.g. insulins)
  • Items with bioavailability issues (e.g. anti- epileptics)
  • Items that require a consistent preparation to be provided (e.g. inhaler devices)
  • A small number of items where there is a cost efficiency.

Each therapeutic section contains a list of drugs used in that condition. Each drug has a status icon and is linked to any applicable local recommendation documents.

In order to make information easier to find, additional therapeutic sections have been added for;

  • palliative care
  • wound management products
  • stoma products
  • continence products
  • borderline substances (including oral nutritional supplements).

These sections have a different layout to the other sections and may include local guidelines and sub-formularies for ranges of devices.

The 'Infection' section includes the East Kent primary care antimicrobial prescribing guidance, including strength, dose and duration suggestions.


How to find a drug

All drugs have been added to this formulary once. Each drug is listed on the page that matches its location in the BNF.

To find a specific drug, type the drug name into the search box and press 'ENTER', or click on 'Therapeutic sections' and navigate to the required condition page. 

If you are unsure how a drug is spelt, the search box will present suggestions after the first four letters have been added. For example, the search box will suggest 'simvastatin' if you type 'simv'.


Drug information

There are links to the BNF, BNFC and Summary of Product Characteristics which provide dosing information and NICE Technology Appraisal guidance where applicable.

 or  - Clicking on these icons will direct you to the relevant BNF or BNFC page, where dosing information can be found.

 - Clicking this icon will search for the drug's Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC) or Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) on the electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC).

 - Clicking this icon will search for the drug on the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) website. 

 - Clicking this icon will show any local recommendations for the drug.

There are several other icons which may appear next to a drug. Hover your mouse over the icon for further details.


Drug status

Each drug's formulary status is shown as a coloured bar before the drug name;

  On Formulary. These items have been reviewed and can be prescribed.

  Specialist initiation. On formulary but requires initiation by a specialist. GPs may then take on maintenance prescribing.

  Shared care. These items have a shared care agreement in place, which will detail any prescribing restrictions.

  Hospital only. Only to be prescribed by hospital or specialist primary care teams.

  Not recommended. These items are not recommended for prescribing.