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The British National Formulary is a publication issued biannually that contains the complete list of medications approved for use in the UK. It is jointly published by the British Medical Association and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. New editions are published in March and in September, each making the previous edition redundant.

What makes it a bible for Pharmacists and other medical professions is that it packs concise information about practically all drugs and preparations dispensed in a single, compact volume that is logical enough in its persentation to make no search last longer than half a minute. The eBNF is the CD-ROMversion of the Formulary and makes searching even quicker. The Internet version of the Formulary, on the other hand, is dismissed on the front page by the following greeting:
Current internet technology is not sufficiently reliable to deliver information for use in clinically critical situations. Users should not therefore rely on the availability of BNF.org to make individual treatment decisions.

The abbreviation BNF is a constant source of confusion to all except Pharmacists, doctors and other health-care professionals who practice in Britain.

Two similar publications exist, one that is more specific to dentists, and consequently called The Dental Practitioners' Formulary (abbreviated DPF)contains specific guidance and preparations which dentists can prescribe for patients receiving NHS treatment and another one called the Nurse Prescribers' Formulary being specific to the nursing practice. Both include the complete BNF for practical reasons.

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