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BNF 67 to be used as primary source of drug information at 2014 Commonwealth Games

The latest edition of the British National Formulary (BNF 67), published last week (7 March 2014), will be used as the primary source of drug information for the medical team of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. The BNF was also the main source of drug information for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

March updates to the BNF and the BNF for Children include revised guidance on the incidence of venous thromboembolism associated with combined hormonal contraceptives. The guidance reflects a recent European Medicines Agency review, which found that the risk of thromboembolism is small and continues to be outweighed by the benefits. The risk is greater during the first year and possibly after restarting combined hormonal contraceptives following a break of four weeks or more. The risk also varies depending on the type of progestogen, and increases with age and in the presence of other risk factors, such as obesity, according to the updates.

Two new medicines have also been included in the March updates to the BNF: afatinib, a protein kinase inhibitor licensed for the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer, and dabrafenib, a BRAF kinase inhibitor licensed as monotherapy for the treatment of unresectable or metastatic melanoma with a BRAF V600 mutation.

NHS pharmacists and community pharmacies in England will not receive a free print edition of BNF 67 because the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has decided only to purchase one print edition per year for distribution to NHS health professionals in England.

Healthcare professionals in Scotland and Wales will receive the printed version of BNF 67. A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government told PJ Online that there were no plans to change these arrangements. However, the Welsh Government plans to switch to purchasing one print edition per year. A spokeswoman said: “I can confirm that we will be distributing edition 67, but as this resource is online and available via smartphone and tablet apps (which are updated monthly, rather than six-monthly) this will be the last March edition we send out in hard copy. We will continue to send out the September editions in hard copy annually.”

BNF content will continue to be available via the BNF website, MedicinesComplete, NICE’s Evidence Search and the BNF app.

Furthermore, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the BMJ will continue to publish the BNF twice a year and it can be purchased via the Pharmaceutical Press website.

This article was amended on 12 March 2014 to include information about the distribution of the BNF in Scotland and Wales.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.11135697

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