Single National Formulary: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

You asked about the National Formulary timescales and if the formulary process would also happen for the Northern and Western health boards after the East Coast of Scotland.


The answer to your question is that this work has initially been progressed in the East region (NHS Borders, NHS Fife and NHS Lothian) who have worked collaboratively on the development of Scotland’s first regional medicines formulary. Work on the adult formulary recommendations for the East completed in May 2023, with development of paediatric content now ongoing.

Discussions have commenced with the Health Boards in the West of Scotland (NHS Ayrshire & Arran, NHS Dumfries & Galloway, NHS Forth Valley, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde and NHS Lanarkshire) around how best to progress this work in that region. A decision on the next steps for the West of Scotland is expected in early 2024, at which point timelines for delivery will be established. A similar approach will be adopted for Health Boards in the North of Scotland (NHS Grampian, NHS Highland, NHS Orkney, NHS Shetland and NHS Western Isles) after the establishment of the West region formulary.

To make you aware the Scottish Government is working with stakeholders across the NHS in Scotland to progress a measured and phased approach to evolving formularies. This involves the use of a regional collaborative consensus model, which was chosen to ensure that the function of developing a formulary continues to be delivered by Health Boards underpinned by local clinical ownership. The regional formulary development work aims to reduce unwarranted variation in the prescribing of medicines across Scotland, while also ensuring that a formulary can continue to accommodate local health needs and care pathways appropriate to local service structures and processes.

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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