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The NICE Medicines and Prescribing Centre has been commissioned to develop supporting good practice guidance on local medicines formularies. This is likely to be published by the end of 2012. In advance of the publication of that guidance Dr Keith Ridge has written to NHS acute, mental health and primary care chief pharmacists England and strategic health authority pharmacy and prescribing leads, encouraging action to review local formulary processes to begin implementation of the Innovation Health and Wealth (IHW) action. This work should be undertaken in collaboration with emerging clinical commissioning groups and in a way that not only supports the Innovation Health and Wealth action, but considers:
local clinical and patient needs
how best to reduce inappropriate variation
how best to optimise medicines use
whether there is scope to reduce any administrative burdens of formulary maintenance.
Local medicines formularies have an important role in underpinning safe and effective use of medicines. It is also important that they support the introduction into practice of NICE technology appraisal recommendations.