Physician perceptions of a national formulary

P. A. Glassman, C. B. Good, M. E. Kelley, M. Bradley, M. Valentino, J. Ogden, K. W. Kizer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess the perceptions of US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) physicians regarding effects of a National Formulary (NF) on patient care, access to drugs, physician workload, and resident training approximately 1 year after it was implemented. Study design: Cross-sectional survey. Methods: A questionnaire was sent to attending physicians working within the VA healthcare system. Participants included general internists (n = 2824), neurologists (n = 238), psychiatrists (n = 997), general surgeons (n = 429), and urologists (n = 152). The response rate was 45%. Results: Most physicians (63%) thought that they could prescribe needed drugs; 65% agreed that patients could obtain needed nonformulary drugs. One third disagreed that access to prescription pharmaceuticals had increased; 29% stated the NF impinged on providing quality care to their own patients, and 21% thought it did so to patients from other VA facilities. Thirty eight percent of physicians perceived the NF to be more restrictive than private sector formularies; 16% thought that the NF diminished the ability to train residents for managed care. Forty percent thought that the NF added to workload. Generalists more often perceived that the NF improved their ability to provide care compared with neurologists (27% vs 18%, P = .046), psychiatrists (27% vs 22%, P = .027), and internal medicine sub-specialists (27% vs 18%, P = .001). Physicians with more clinic time were more likely to perceive that the NF increased workload. Conclusion: Although differences of opinions among physicians were noted, most responding VA physicians did not perceive that the NF adversely affected patient care, access to pharmaceuticals, physician workload, or resident training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-251
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Managed Care
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Medicine(all)
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)


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