Prices in the BNF

Since launching the new BNF structure, we have had a number of queries about how the prices in current BNF Publications align with the prices in BNF legacy products.

Print

For branded preparations, prices are derived from the NHS Dictionary of Medicines and Devices (DM+D). This policy has not changed in the move to the new BNF structure.

Due to space constraints in print publications, we are not able to list all available generic preparations cited in the NHS Dictionary of Medicines and Devices (DM+D). Instead, we have editorial processes that allow us to create a preparation entry that is representative of all generic preparations, including a representative price. This price is based on the NHS indicative price for all related generics in DM+D. This policy has not changed in the move from the legacy BNF structure.

Digital

For branded preparations, the situation is the same described under Print, above.

In digital versions of the new BNF Publications there are no space constraints and so for generic preparations, prices for all available preparations are included. This has changed in the move to the new BNF structure – in the past, only a representative generic preparation was listed, as described under Print, above.

Drug tariff

BNF Publications based on the new structure also list the Drug Tariff price, where available.  This is an enhancement added to the new structure based on user feedback and is not included in BNF legacy products.

Updating

The new BNF Publications have been built to allow a more seamless updating of the price information and the price can more rapidly be updated than was possible with the legacy system, which required a laborious manual process.

Legacy versions are due for retirement and therefore there is minimal support for non-clinical content i.e. product information such as prices. We advise that the new BNF Publications should be used in preference to the legacy BNF Publications, but this is particularly true when considering price, where the content will be more up-to-date.

Update to nystatin dose in BNF and BNF for Children

The nystatin dose for oral candidiasis in the BNF has historically reflected the posology recommendations in the Nystan® Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC). Following discussions with the MHRA the dose has been updated (live in digital versions of the BNF from March 2017) and now reflects current posology recommendations for generic nystatin products.

Hierarchy

The BNF chapter numbering structure (sometimes referred to as the hierarchy) was changed in BNF70 in order to facilitate the development of digital products and the print restructuring of content.

We are aware that NHS organisations, especially hospitals, utilise the BNF’s chapter structure and have further developed it for a range of important uses which could be impacted by these changes, including, in particular, collecting and reporting data on medicines and other prescribable products. As well as local systems, this also affects NHS Business Services Authority’s prescriptions information systems and reports, the dm+d supplementary release file, and the publications and data releases by the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

A steering group with representation from the BNF Publisher, DH, HSCIC, NHSBSA, NICE, Devolved Administrations, All England Chief Pharmacists Group and the Pharmaceutical Advisors Group has been established meets quarterly. The group’s focus is on the development of an NHS owned information standard, which will eventually replace the legacy BNF chapter structure. Use of the standard will be mandated throughout the NHS to ensure consistency across all systems, although please note that this is a long term objective. The group will also focus on developing a strategy which will support the requirements of users throughout the NHS to make a smooth transition with minimal disruption. We will be consulting widely with users to help with this work.

We would like to reassure you that the BNF Publisher will continue to support the chapter structure featured in previous editions of the BNF through ‘BNF Legacy’, which is available on the www.medicinescomplete.com platform whilst solutions are implemented.