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The BNF diet

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Sorry if you feel misled by the title, but this isn't a blogabout a new fad-diet involving eating the BNF and/or a cocktail of anti-obesitydrugs.  No, this is a blog about how theBNF itself might soon need to diet.

On average over the past 12 years 15 pages have been addedto each edition representing a 3.3% annual increase.  I'm sure you're wondering what this lookslike when plotted on a graph.  I've savedyou the trouble of having to plot it yourself: 

BNF issue vs pages

In what might be a perfect example of taking something toofar, I asked the MHRA how many new marketing authorisations had been approvedover the last 12 years.  I thought inyears where more marketing authorisations were approved, more pages would beadded to the BNF.  I thought wrong - no suchrelationship exists.

In case it isn't already clear, this is all tongue-in-cheek,but I have a mildly serious point.  Thereis something very loveable about the current format of the BNF which executes aperfect balance between portability and resourcefulness.

I have sympathy for the editors who probably have to battleagainst those who'd like to adopt a ‘and the kitchen sink' approach.  But being judicious when accepting contentwill only go so far.  There will come apoint where adding content will ruin the format.

We might then be left with either an obese BNF or amulti-volume BNF, neither of which are attractive alternatives.  Or perhaps it won't be an issue as by then wewill have moved to electronic BNFs similarto airline pilots, though the NHS's track record on technology leaves medoubtful.

Hardly the biggest issue facing pharmacy I know, but worth ablog.

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