for·​mu·​lary | \ ˈfȯr-myə-ˌler-ē How to pronounce formulary (audio) \
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 Physicians who receive payment from industry are more likely to prescribe their sponsors’ drugs and request that specific drugs be added to a hospital formulary than physicians who are not paid by industry. Sunita Sah, Scientific American, "Conflicts of Interest and COVID," 3 Dec. 2020 One approach has been to create a digital formulary, such as Cigna’s Express Scripts partnering with companies like Propeller Health, a digital health platform for asthma and COPD. Andrey Ostrovsky, STAT, "Medicare should break an old rule to let breakthrough digital therapeutics save lives," 19 Oct. 2020 With doctors able to charge well above the government rate, and a non-exhaustive drug formulary, Australia certainly doesn’t set the perfect example. David Boettiger, STAT, "The health system in my native Australia has a lot to learn from the U.S.," 1 Nov. 2019 The Trump administration has also criticized PBMs for contributing to high drug prices by requiring large discounts in order to receive formulary access. Jared S. Hopkins, WSJ, "Senator Collins Presses HHS to Reform Drug Rebate System," 10 Jan. 2019 In addition, most antibiotics, unlike many other medicines, need to be added to hospital formularies, which can require three or four rounds of review from the hospital. Megan Blewett, Fortune, "How to Cure the Antibiotic Industry’s Profitability Infection," 14 Nov. 2019 Erin Fox, senior director of the Drug Information and Support Services for the University of Utah Health, purchases medicines for a hospital system with 5,000 drugs on the formulary. Carolyn Y. Johnson,, "A tiny pharmacy raises big doubts about our drugs," 8 Nov. 2019 Express Scripts appears to be throwing a bit of a lifeline to digital health firms, creating a new formulary that would benefit companies like Livongo, Omada, Propeller Health, and others. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Meet Stephen Hahn, the New FDA Commissioner," 12 Dec. 2019 The formulary is everything, so do the homework and compare, compare, compare. Michelle Singletary, Washington Post, "This might surprise you. Seniors are not more susceptible to scams, younger adults are.," 28 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for formulary

Time Traveler

The first known use of formulary was in 1541

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Cite this Entry

“Formulary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for formulary


for·​mu·​lary | \ ˈfȯr-myə-ˌler-ē How to pronounce formulary (audio) \
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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