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     The 8th edition of the Philippine National Formulary (PNF) Manual for Primary Healthcare was officially launched by the Formulary Executive Council (FEC) during the 62nd Annual Convention and Exhibit of the Association of Municipal Health Officers of the Philippines (AMHOP) held at The Oriental Hotel, Legazpi City, Albay on 08-11 April 2015.

     The ceremonial turnover of the PNF manual was led by the keynote speaker, Dr. Maria Minerva Calimag, who is presently the re-elected president of the Philippine Medical Association and the toxicologist expert of the Formulary Executive Council (FEC). Dr. Raul Echipare, past AMHOP National President and also a member of the FEC representing the municipal health officers (MHOs), likewise led the ceremonial turnover together with the editorial team represented by Ms. Joyce Anne Ceria, Mr. Mac Ardy Gloria and Ms. Johanna Mallari.  

     A short talk on the features of the PNF was delivered by Dr. Irene F. Fariñas, Medical Officer IV of the Pharmaceutical Division on the second day of the convention, in the stead of Dr. Marita B. Dantes, a neurologist expert of the FEC who led in the drafting of the PNF Manual for Primary Healthcare.

     The new and improved PNF manual for Primary Healthcare features more drug information such as indication, contraindication, dose, dose adjustments, precautions, adverse drug reactions, drug interaction, administration and pregnancy category. Likewise, to prevent the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), a special section called “AMR Alert” was incorporated in the chapter of anti-infectives based on the latest report of the Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Program.

     Copies of the Formulary were given to MHOs. The MHOs were asked to answer the evaluation form, which aims to assess the acceptability and usefulness of the PNF manual in guiding their prescribing practice. As announced last year, the manuals are set to be delivered directly to the rural health units (RHUs) together with the Barangay Health Station kits and the DOH Compack.

     It is hoped that through these valuable developments in the PNF, rational and responsible use of medicines will be enforced among the healthcare providers.