for·​mu·​lary | \ ˈfȯr-myə-ˌler-ē \
plural formularies

Definition of formulary

1 : a collection of prescribed forms (such as oaths or prayers)
3 : a book listing medicinal substances and formulas

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Other Words from formulary

formulary adjective

Examples of formulary in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

If drugs are not on the formulary, the drug company loses business since the drug will either not be covered by the health insurance plan or the patient will have to pay much more out of pocket to get it. Scott Knoer, STAT, "What does PBM stand for? In Ohio (and elsewhere), it’s programs bilking millions," 29 June 2018 Insurers have formularies with different co-pays for different drugs, and some may not be covered. Liz Weston, The Seattle Times, "Liz Weston: How to save money on health care," 22 Oct. 2018 Pharmacy benefit managers negotiate rebates with drug companies to have their drugs placed on the PBM’s formulary (the list of prescription drugs covered by a prescription drug plan). Scott Knoer, STAT, "What does PBM stand for? In Ohio (and elsewhere), it’s programs bilking millions," 29 June 2018 Medicare drug plans can change their list of covered drugs, called formularies. Michelle Andrews, Washington Post, "Refusing To Work For Medicaid May Not Translate To Subsidies For ACA Plan," 27 Feb. 2018 Attorney Sam Pond has been leading the opposition to legislation to create a workers’ comp drug formulary. William Bender,, "Gov. Wolf's biggest PAC donor includes money from secretive compounding pharmacies," 9 Mar. 2018 Health officials proposed in their February budget letting five states experiment with the way their Medicaid programs pay for drugs, including with formularies. Erin Mershon, STAT, "Mass. gets a thumbs-down on negotiating Medicaid prices, but Oklahoma wins on ‘value’ rebates," 27 June 2018 Instead, those medications would be covered by the Part D program, where private companies compete to offer insurance plans and negotiate more aggressively on formularies and pricing. Stephanie Armour, WSJ, "Trump’s Plan to Lower Drug Prices: A Q&A," 11 May 2018 Treatments that have competition may deliver the biggest rebates because pharmaceutical companies are jockeying to have their medicines included in formularies. Tom Murphy, USA TODAY, "Prescription drug costs: Insurers look to pass price breaks straight to the consumer," 14 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'formulary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of formulary

1541, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

1 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for formulary

The first known use of formulary was in 1541

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More Definitions for formulary


for·​mu·​lary | \ ˈfȯr-myə-ˌler-ē \
plural formularies

Medical Definition of formulary

1 : a book containing a list of medicinal substances and formulas — see national formulary
2 : an official list of generic and brand name pharmaceutical drugs designated by a health insurance provider as approved for coverage under the provider's pharmacy plan benefits

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with formulary

Comments on formulary

What made you want to look up formulary? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to gather or build up little by little

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