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The world needs a free, high-quality, independent international formulary

HIFA Quotation: 

Please find below the abstract of a paper from 2013 that closely supports previous arguments on HIFA that there should be a high-quality, independent international formulary, similar to the British National Formulary and freely available to all prescribers and users of medicines, on the internet, on mobile phones and as a free PDF download. Universal basic information on commonly prescribed medicines, identified by their generic name, would save many lives and reduce suffering. 

We have discussed this with both the British National Formulary and the World Health Organization. We pointed out: "If money is an issue, we think we can help you get financial support for this, because we are convinced that a major funder such as the Gates Foundation can be persuaded of the need for such a formulary". But so far we are not getting through...

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.  [Full text is restricted access]


Date of HIFA message: 
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
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Author Name: 
Neil Pakenham-Walsh
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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is the coordinator of the HIFA campaign (Healthcare Information For All) and co-director of the Global Healthcare Information Network. He is also currently chair of the Dgroups Foundation (, a partnership of 18 international development organisations promoting dialogue for international health and development. He started his career as a hospital doctor in the UK, and has clinical experience as an isolated health worker in rural Ecuador and Peru.  For the last 20 years he has been committed to the global challenge of improving the availability and use of relevant, reliable healthcare information for health workers and citizens in low- and middle-income countries. He is also interested in the wider potential of inclusive, interdisciplinary communication platforms to help address global health and international development challenges. He has worked with the World Health Organization, the Wellcome Trust, Medicine Digest and INASP (International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications). He is based near Oxford, UK.  Twitter: @hifa_org FB:     neil.pakenham-walsh AT

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