Medicine formulary writing for hospitals: A systematic review on development, approval, dissemination, and review


  • Kauke Bakari Zimbwe Department of Pharmacy, Benjamin Mkapa Hospital, University of Dodoma Area, Dodoma, United Republic of Tanzania
  • Omary Salim Kizenga Department of Pharmacy, Benjamin Mkapa Hospital, University of Dodoma Area, Dodoma, United Republic of Tanzania
  • Emiliana Nyafungo Francis Pharmaceutical Service Unit, Ministry of Health, Dodoma, United Republic of Tanzania
  • Yusto Julius Yona Department of Pharmacy, Benjamin Mkapa Hospital, University of Dodoma Area, Dodoma, United Republic of Tanzania
  • Talhiya Abdulhakim Yahya The Medicines, Technologies, and Pharmaceutical Services (MTaPS) Programme, USAID, Dar-es-Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania



Essential medicine list, Formulary manual, Formulary system, Hospital formulary, Hospital medicine, Therapeutics committee


Background: A hospital formulary is a guiding manual developed to enhance the rational prescribing of medicines based on the local prevalence of diseases and hospital settings. This systematic review aimed to identify and evaluate the existing literature on hospital formulary development and management to ensure the availability of safe, cost-effective, quality, and efficacious medicines that all practitioners must use.

Methods: A qualitative evidence and experience synthesis approach was chosen to create evidence on the development and use of hospital formulary. PubMed was the database used to search for similar reviews using Boolean operators.

Results: Out of 1,347 potentially relevant literature and abstracts identified and screened, 25 publications were used in developing the hospital formulary. The hospital formulary should be developed and reviewed after using the current STG/NEMLIT to use updated medicine lists and indications. Medicines selected for the model are “medicines of choice.” The development of hospital formularies should be based on a comprehensive and transparent process that involves a multidisciplinary team of experts, a clear selection criterion, a reliable and updated source of information, and a regular evaluation of the clinical and economic outcomes.

Conclusion: Hospital formularies promote the rational, safe use of medicines to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare.


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How to Cite

Zimbwe, K. B., Kizenga , O. S., Francis, E. N., Yona, Y. J., & Yahya, T. A. (2024). Medicine formulary writing for hospitals: A systematic review on development, approval, dissemination, and review. Pharmacy Education, 24(1), p. 186–199.