The January newsletter contains the latest guidance and content updates to the BNF and BNFC. This month features new monographs and MHRA advice.
Previous eNewsletters can be found below:
Previous eNewsletters can be found below:
We are pleased to confirm that the issue for updating the BNF App has now been fixed.
Version 2.1.22 of the App now resolves the pop-up issue.
Thank you for your patience.
We are aware that the BNF app on iOS is currently alerting all users to update their app, via a pop-up which states:
“Update available: A new version of this App is available which contains the latest BNF and BNFC content. Please update to the latest version”.
This is occurring for all users, irrespective of whether they are using the most up-to-date version.
If your app indicates that you are using version 2.1.21, and the October 2019 content update, then this is the most recent content and no update is required. You should choose “Later”, and the pop-up will disappear.
If your app indicates that you are using a version earlier than 2.1.21, or a content update dated earlier than October 2019, then you should update your app so that you are using the most up-to-date content. After updating, you may still be prompted to update again but you can choose “Later” so that the pop-up disappears.
We apologise for any inconvenience.
70 years supporting you make effective decisions
Since 1949 the British National Formulary (BNF) has been the UK’s most trusted and authoritative healthcare resource, helping to ensure the safe and effective use of medicines at the point of care.
Over the past 70 years we’ve never lost sight of what’s important, and looking ahead we will continue to provide unrivalled guidance on prescribing, dispensing and administering medicines.
As part of our 70th celebration we want to share some behind-the-scenes detail about what makes the BNF special.
Do you have a success story about how the BNF has been pivotal in your healthcare career? We’d love to hear about it on social media, just use the hashtag #BNF70years
BNF Publications are pleased to announce the appointments of a Chair and Deputy Chair of the BNF for Children’s Paediatric Formulary Committee (PFC).
Dr David Tuthill has been appointed as the Chair of the BNF for Children’s PFC. David is a consultant general paediatrician at the Children’s Hospital for Wales and Llandough Hospital. His main clinical focus is children with allergic and general paediatric problems. He has been involved in work around medication and patient safety and also has expertise in quality improvement. He has been a member of the PFC since 2011. David is also a member of the Medicines Committee at the Royal College of Paedatrics and Child Health (RCPCH). He has been actively involved in development of the Medicines for Children website, a joint initiative between RCPCH, the Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group (NPPG) and Wellchild.
Neil Caldwell has been appointed as the Deputy Chair of the BNF for Children’s PFC. Neil is a consultant pharmacist for children’s services at Wirral University Teaching Hospital and honorary lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University and has been a member of the PFC since 2011. Neil is a lead reviewer of Medicines for Children leaflets and, since 2009, he has been member of the NPPG committee; he was also part of the NICE Guideline Development Group for Antibiotics for Early Onset Neonatal Infection from 2010–2012. Neil was awarded a Faculty Fellow of Royal Pharmaceutical Society in 2014.
A new BNF & BNFC App is available to download from App Store and Google Play. Containing the latest content from both the BNF and BNF for Children (BNFC), the app provides access to practical, evidence-based medicines information whenever – and wherever – it is needed.
The App is aimed at prescribers, pharmacists, and other health and social care professionals working within the NHS in the UK who need accurate, up-to-date information about the use of medicines. It features the same content structure as the BNF print and web editions and has been purpose-built for iOS and Android platforms.
The App’s predictive searching is fast and intuitive, the BNF drug monographs make dosage and prescribing information immediately accessible, and the arrangement of information into sections on Drugs, Treatment summaries, Interactions, Medical devices, Borderline substances and Wound care makes it easy to navigate. The App includes a robust interactions checker that makes identifying potentially serious issues between combinations of drugs quick and simple.
The App lets users search and retrieve BNF content without a connection to the internet. Its clinical content is updated every month, so users can be sure they are basing their decisions on the latest information available.
BNF Director, Karen Baxter comments:
“The new BNF & BNFC App has been designed to be responsive, interactive and very easy to access, saving clinicians valuable time. We have had great initial feedback from our test group on its intuitive design and ease of use. This new digital format adds to the range of ways health professionals can access BNF content and we are delighted to be able to share it with you.”
Commercial users of the BNF who wish to use the App should contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss licencing arrangements.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The February 2017 eNewsletter contains the latest guidance and content updates to the BNF and BNFC. This month includes 3 new monographs that have been added to the BNF.
Previous eNewsletters can be found below:
Have you ever wondered what processes go into the making of the BNF? Follow the journey of a single piece of content on its way to publication with our infographic.