This guideline covers good practice for developing and updating local formularies in line with statutory requirements. It supports developing formularies that reflect local needs, reduce variation in prescribing, and allow rapid adoption of new medicines and treatments.

In October 2015, changes to recommendations 1.3.5, 1.10.2 and 1.15.6 were made to reflect the need to consider local workload and resources.


This guideline includes recommendations on:

Who is it for?

  • People involved in handling, prescribing and commissioning medicines within the NHS
  • Patients and their families and carers 

Is this guideline up to date?

We checked this guideline in March 2019. We found no new evidence that affects the recommendations in this guideline.

Guideline development process

How we develop NICE guidelines

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)