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Formulary selection and use: A comparison of physician, nurse, pharmacist, and administrator perceptions.


The central hypothesis tested is that pharmacist and administrator formulary committee members place a higher importance on cost related criteria in formulary selection, and perceive a higher effectiveness of the formulary, than physician and nurse formulary committee members. This study surveys formulary committee members of hospitals in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. Data is gathered on demographics, perceived attitude of organizational members toward formulary restrictiveness, criteria used in formulary selection, and the formulary committee members' perception of formulary effectiveness. Responses are obtained from 175 formulary committee members. Results indicate that, comparatively, pharmacists place a higher importance on cost criteria, physicians place a lower importance on cost criteria, and nurses place a higher importance on clinical criteria in formulary selection. However, physicians and nurses perceive a higher effectiveness of the formulary than pharmacists. Also, fewer numbers of hospital beds in an organization, higher restrictiveness of the formulary, and more emphasis on clinical criteria in formulary selection are associated with higher levels of perceived formulary effectiveness. Policy implications for the regulation of cost-effectiveness information and the selection of formulary committee members are discussed.