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Worldwide analysis of factors associated with medicines compendia publishing

Int J Clin Pharm. 2013 Jun;35(3):386-92. doi: 10.1007/s11096-012-9744-x. Epub 2013 Mar 28. Worldwide analysis of factors associated with medicines compendia publishing. Arguello B, Fernandez-Llimos F.
Abstract / Summary: 
Background: Medicines compendia, also called formularies, are the most commonly used drug information source among health care professionals. Objective: The aim was to identify the countries publishing medicines compendia and the socio-demographic factors associated to this fact. Additionally, we sought to determine the use of foreign compendia in countries lacking their own. Setting: Global web-based survey. Method: Healthcare practitioners and researchers from 193 countries worldwide were invited to complete a web-based survey. The questionnaire investigated the existence of a national compendium, or the use of foreign compendia in the absence of one. Demographic and socioeconomic variables were used to predict compendia publishing through a multivariate analysis. Main outcome measure: Existence of national medicines compendia and foreign compendia used. Results: Professionals from 132 countries completed the survey (response rate at a country level 68.4%, comprising 90.9% global population). Eighty-four countries (63.6%) reported publishing a medicines compendium. In the multivariate analysis, only two covariates had significant association with compendia publishing. Being a member of the Organisation for the Economic Cooperation and Development was the only variable positively associated with compendia publishing (OR = 37.5; 95% CI = 2.3:599.8). In contrast, the countries that listed French as an official language were less likely to publish a compendium (OR = 0.07; 95% CI = 0.007:0.585). Countries without national compendia reported using the British National Formulary most commonly, followed by the Dictionnaire Vidal. Conclusion: Publication of medicines compendia is associated with socio-economic development. Countries lacking a national compendium, use foreign compendia from higher-income countries. Creating an international medicines compendium under the leadership of the World Health Organisation, rather than merely a 'model', would reduce the risks of using information sources not-adapted to the necessities of developing countries.  
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Selected extracts: 

1. Medicines compendia are the most commonly used drug information source for health care professionals
2. There is a need for adapting medicines compendia to meet country development levels and national health care system requirements
3. The WHO Model Formulary is not sufficient for developing countries.

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Arguello B, Fernandez-Llimos F. 

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