AMS Model Formulary

What is a formulary?

A formulary is a list of medicines, including antimicrobial agents, that has been approved by an authority for use within an organisation, network or nationally. Formulary systems establish rules governing medicine use.

In the community, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme act as the formulary.

Local AMS formularies

A formulary that includes a list of restricted antimicrobials is an essential component of antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) programs. The antimicrobial formulary should be appropriate to the needs of the organisation, and should consider the range of antimicrobials required, the clinical orientation of the organisation and local antimicrobial resistance patterns. It should be updated periodically, and compliance should be audited.

It is important that antimicrobial formulary decisions are informed by local microbiological data.

Formulary requirements and benefits

The National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Preventing and Controlling Healthcare-Associate Infection Standard requires health service organisations to have an AMS program that includes an AMS policy and an antimicrobial formulary that has restriction rules and approval processes. An approval system for antimicrobials, to complement the formulary, also supports appropriate prescribing practices.

The AMS book outlines key strategies for an effective AMS governance structure including “Implementing formulary restriction and approval systems that include restricting broad-spectrum and later-generation antimicrobials to patients in whom their use is clinically justified”.

Antimicrobial stewardship: state and territories roles and resources

State and territory governments are responsible for the planning and implementation of AMS and infection prevention and control programs in public health service organisations. Most states and territories have expert AMS advisory processes to provide technical and strategic advice, jurisdictional antimicrobial formularies and a range of resources to support AMS practise. These promote consistency of antimicrobial prescribing in hospitals, so that clinicians have clear, common expectations about the availability of these medicines.

Refer to your local state / territory for their AMS formulary: