A woman using an app on a mobile phone

Following extensive user research showing an increasing preference for the online and mobile app versions, and in line with the NHS’s plans to digitise, connect and transform, NICE has made the decision that the upcoming print edition of BNF86 and BNFC 2023-24 will be the last to be supplied by NICE to the NHS in England. These final print editions supplied by NICE are scheduled to be distributed in October and November 2023.

Benefits of the digital content

The benefits of moving to digital BNF and BNFC content are clear. They include:

  • Clinical safety – The digital offerings are updated monthly providing important clinical and safety information in a timely way. Print versions of the BNF and BNFC are provided once a year and are out of date by the time they are received by healthcare providers.

  • Environmental impact – Switching to a digital format of the BNF and BNFC supports the national priority to deliver a Net Zero National Health Service by 2040. Printing and distribution of the BNF and BNFC has a significant carbon footprint.

  • Digital transformation – Switching to digital BNF and BNFC content supports the NHS Long Term Plan objectives of digital transformation.

NICE funds and manages the provision of the British National Formulary (BNF) and British National Formulary for Children (BNFC) to the NHS and other eligible groups in England on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care.

This includes providing access to the BNF and BNFC online, which is updated monthly and hosted on the NICE website and on MedicinesComplete, the BNF + BNFC mobile app, and the print editions of the BNF and BNFC.

NICE is a world-leading organisation, committed to getting the best care to people, fast, whilst ensuring value for the taxpayer. Moving to digital BNF and BNFC content helps us fulfil these objectives.

Accessing the digital content

Digital versions of the BNF and BNFC can be accessed in the following ways:

  1. NICE Website available via https://bnf.nice.org.uk/ and https://bnfc.nice.org.uk/.
    The NICE website is free to use for the NHS and eligible users and does not require a login or registration.

  2. BNF App available via App Store and Google Play.
    The BNF App can be used offline, is free to use and requires a login.

  3. MedicinesComplete website available via https://www.medicinescomplete.com.
    MedicinesComplete is free to use for the NHS and requires a login.

Prioritising the use of digital versions of the BNF and BNFC over the print version represents the most efficient and safe way of accessing this trusted source of medicines information.

Frequently asked questions

Can I still access new copies of the printed BNF and BNFC?

  • Yes, while NICE will no longer be funding and supplying free copies to eligible groups, you can purchase directly from Pharmaceutical Press by visiting www.bnf.org.

How can I access the digital versions of the BNF and BNFC if I have limited internet access?

  • Once downloaded, the digital BNF and BNFC app does not require internet access. The app content is updated every month and you will need internet access to update the app.

How can I access technical support for the digital versions of the BNF and BNFC?

  • Please contact the BNF directly at pharmpress-support@rpharms.com regarding any technical issues with the app or the BNF on MedicinesComplete. If you have any technical issues with the digital BNF and BNFC hosted on NICE’s website, please email us at nice@nice.org.uk.

Which users can access the digital BNF and BNFC content?

  • NHS users are able to access BNF content via the App, MedicinesComplete and NICE website free of charge.

How can users who are not NHS users access BNF and BNFC content?

  • For non-NHS users, please contact the Pharmaceutical Press for access to BNF and BNFC content. Contact details are available on www.bnf.org

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