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8 December, 2009

BNF available... sort-of

The BNF (British National Formulary) is the UK's national prescribing resource; the definitive handbook of all medications available on the UK National Health Service, including guidance on prescribing, contra-indications and side-effects.

It's obviously intended for healthcare professionals, but since my sister is a surgeon I've owned hand-me-down copies for a few years.
It's not the usual hypochondriac's catalogue; one couldn't readily browse it for symptoms & 'cures', but on the rare occasions I've been prescribed medication, it's been mildly useful, even comforting, to be a little better informed.

The good news is that I've discovered that it's now available online to anyone with a UK IP address (or in certain 'low income' nations), professional or otherwise. The slightly less good news is that there's a slightly odd requirement to register with the website (by sending an e-mail requesting access to a registration form...), allegedly for copyright purposes, and access for non-professionals is limited to 30-min sessions (which, to be fair, is more than adequate). Print editions are currently 28.99, and are authoritative for six months.

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