South Australian Medicines Formulary

The South Australian Medicines Formulary is a list of core medicines which are approved for use within SA Public Hospitals and health services. Through a statewide approach to the availability of medicines, SA Health aims to optimise the quality use of medicines, improve and promote equity of access to medicines for patients and increase the cost-effectiveness of medicine use across SA Health.

The initial compilation of the formulary was completed in 2018; with the process of regular review and update already commenced.

Formulary changes

In December 2018 the formulary was updated to include the following medicines:

  • Parenteral Nutrition

For information on available strengths, products and any restrictions on the any of the formulary medicines, refer to the South Australian Medicines Formulary list.

How will the formulary be developed?

The South Australian Formulary Committee (SAFC) will develop and maintain the SAMF, according to the principles outlined in the Framework (PDF 238KB). Medicines will be considered within therapeutic classes according to therapeutic usage and take into account the following factors:

  • current clinical guidelines and patterns of usage across SA Health (and likely future usage)
  • Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) listing and ongoing supply arrangements
  • comparative safety and efficacy
  • factors relevant to safety and quality use of medicines
  • range of formulations and cost data.

The formulary will be available on the SA Health intranet and also be incorporated into the Sunrise EMR & PAS system. Formulary listings may provide multiple alternatives in each therapeutic class and restrictions for the use of some drugs.

Non-formulary medicines

The ongoing review may result in medicines previously listed on the formulary being removed. There will be provision for continuation of patients on non-formulary medicines, if appropriate. In some situations the treating doctor may elect to switch patients to the formulary listed medicine.

In situations where a formulary medicine is not suitable, non-formulary medicines may be initiated following an approval process. Prescribers are required to complete an IPU Medicine Request (PDF 1118KB) and submit for approval to the Drug and Therapeutic Committee at the treating hospital.

The Streamline Non-Formulary Approval Request offers a pre-approved use of a small number of non-formulary medicines for specified criteria. Prescribers are required to complete the medicine specific streamlined non-formulary approval request form and present to pharmacy prior to the initial supply.

Changing the formulary

SA Health Clinicians wanting to add a new medicine or request a change to the formulary will need to complete a Medicines Formulary Request Form (PDF 610KB) and together with supporting information submit to their hospital's Drug and Therapeutic Committee for endorsement. The endorsed application can then be considered by SAFC.


Streamline non-formulary approval request

Fact sheets

Further information

For further information or any enquiries relating to formulary applications or processes please contact the SAFC Executive Officer by email or phone (08) 8235 5949.