British National Formulary (BNF) Publications provide doctors, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals with evidence-based, up-to-date, and timely information about the use of drugs by including key information on the selection, prescribing, dispensing, and administration of drugs. 

BSO and SPPG have also been revising the current provision of BNF services within HSC in order to facilitate the switch to using the freely available digital versions across key stakeholder organisations. 

The changes which have been implemented for the paper copies of the BNF/BNFc 2022 are: 

– Each GP practice will receive one copy of BNF and BNFC 

– Each community pharmacy will continue to receive one copy BNF and BNFC 

– Following engagement with individual Heads of Pharmacy, each Trust allocation has been reduced by ~20% 

– Non-medical prescribers will no longer receive paper copies of BNF and BNFC 

This decision is underpinned by the following key considerations: 

  • Clinical safety: Print versions of the BNF/BNFC are sent out once a year however, clinical information is updated monthly. Print versions are therefore out of date as soon as they are received whereas digital versions offer up to date and accurate information 
  • Environmental impact: Printing and distribution of the BNF/BNFC uses significant resources associated with a corresponding carbon footprint. Switching to digital only format aligns with the national priority to deliver a Net Zero National Health Service by 2040. 
  • Digital transformation: Removing print versions of BNF/BNFC and switching to digital only format supports the NHS Long Term Plan of digital transformation in the NHS. 


The supplement attached provides practical tips and how to use electronic versions of the BNF/ BNFC. 

Kathryn Turner 

Pharmacy Lead 

Strategic Planning and Performance Group 

distribution paper BNF updated 260722