Visit the main HIFA website:


Medicines information to the developing world. Whose need is greatest?


Establish if providing a UK based medicines information service to certain health care providers in the developing world would be useful and appropriate1, and research the requirements and logistics of providing such a service.


2005 was an important year for the developing world. The ‘Make Poverty History’ campaign, together with the coverage given and the commitments made at the G8 summit,

Developing world needs access to low cost pharmaceutical information from reliable sources

Hafeez and Mirza have assessed how seriously (or not) pharmaceutical companies take their responsibility to provide information on request to prescribers in Pakistan.1 Two of their conclusions are that “providing information on drugs is not a priority for companies in Pakistan” and that “the decision to respond to a request for more information therefore seems to depend on how favourable it might be to the interests of the company.” These conclusions are particularly worrying because the biased information from drug companies is often the only type of information that prescribers have acces

Worldwide analysis of factors associated with medicines compendia publishing

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.

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

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. 

Contribution of Slovenian community pharmacist counseling to patients' knowledge about their prescription medicines: a cross-sectional study

ABSTRACT: An observational study was designed to obtain information about patients' knowledge, their view on pharmacist counseling, and physicians'/pharmacists' provision of information. This study used a specifically designed questionnaire, which served as an interview guide. 400 patients picking up a prescription medicine were structurally interviewed upon leaving one of the 20 randomly chosen Slovenian
pharmacies. The interviews took place in November and December 2013.

Mind the gap: knowledge and practice of providers treating uncomplicated malaria at public and mission health facilities, pharmacies and drug stores in Cameroon and Nigeria.

Background: Artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) has been the first-line treatment for uncomplicated malaria in Cameroon since 2004 and Nigeria since 2005, though many febrile patients receive less effective antimalarials. Patients often rely on providers to select treatment, and interventions are needed to improve providers' practice and encourage them to adhere to clinical guidelines.

Out-Patient Prescribing Practices at Mbagathi District Hospital-Nairobi County

Objective: To assess medicine use practices by using WHO prescribing and patient care indicators in Mbagathi Hospital outpatient department.
Design: A hospital based retrospective study.
Setting: Mbagathi District Hospital outpatient department between 1st January to 30th June 2012.
Main outcome measures: Measures used in this study included, total number of medicines in a prescription, proportion of medicines in the essential drug list, proportion in generic names, proportion with injectables and antibiotics and percentage actually dispensed.


Subscribe to Prescribing