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This paper describes a project in which a voluntary preferred prescribing list (general practice formulary), analogous to those already in use in some hospitals, was created, implemented and monitored. Cooperation between a pharmacist with knowledge of drug information, access to specialist advice and back-up in the form of evaluated information from drug information centres and a group of five general practitioners and their trainees was necessary.
The formulary was well accepted with between 68.2% and 89.6% compliance in therapeutic classes corresponding to the recent National Health Service restricted groups. This method enhances the critical appraisal of prescribing rationale, takes into account the needs of doctors and patients, and reduces costs. Such work highlights the value and scope of interdisciplinary liaison between pharmacists, general practitioners and clinical pharmacologists and it could prove beneficial on a national scale.