News Release Archive

The Department of Health, in cooperation with physicians,
pharmacists and seniors, is providing an innovative approach to
disease management with a new formulary -- a
medical/pharmaceutical resource tool -- scheduled to be released
in mid-June.

The new formulary will be the first of its kind in Canada. It
will follow the ATC (Anatomical, Therapeutic, Chemical)
classification system and serve as a comprehensive resource tool
for physicians and pharmacists. It will feature more than 100
treatment summaries written by local physicians, drug listings,
and indicators of comparative drug costs.

"Nova Scotia's formulary is a creative and effective solution to
meet the challenge of increasing prescription drug costs," said
Health Minister Ron Stewart. "Physicians and pharmacists alike
will now have a key reference source which will highlight
prescribing information to assist them as they continue to
provide quality patient care."

Currently physicians and pharmacists may need to consult several
documents before selecting the best drug therapy. Through a
coding system, the new formulary will allow them to quickly
review treatment options for a specific medical condition.
Comparative costs will also be highlighted. This will help to
ensure the most beneficial medication is being prescribed for the
patients while at the same time managing costs.

The formulary, which will be updated regularly, will also
indicate which drugs are covered under the Seniors' Pharmacare
and Family Benefits programs.

The ATC classification system is used by the World Health
Organization and the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board. It
divides the formulary into 14 major anatomical categories. In
each anatomical category, the drugs are listed according to
therapeutic categories and subcategories. Within each therapeutic
category, the drugs are listed alphabetically by generic name
according to chemical classification.

The new formulary is a direct result of recommendations made by
the 1994 Nova Scotia Pharmacare Reform Working Group. In
response, the formulary was developed by representatives from the
Nova Scotia Department of Health, Senior Citizens' Secretariat,
Dalhousie Family Medicine, Dalhousie College of Pharmacy, Medical
Society of Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Pharmaceutical Society,
Canadian Drug Manufacturers Association and the Pharmaceutical
Manufacturers Association of Canada.

A working copy of Nova Scotia's new formulary is at the Medical
Society of Nova Scotia's annual meeting at the World Trade and
Convention Centre this weekend.


Contact: Sue McKeage  902-424-3581

trp                   May 10, 1996 - 2:30 p.m.