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Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives

National Pharmacy & Therapeutics Committee

About Us


Indian girl dancing The IHS National Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee (NPTC) was approved by IHS Director ADM Charles Grim in February 2004, but work had begun in February 2000. This came as a result of input from various groups including the National Pharmacy Council (NPC) and the IHS Executive Leadership Group (ELG). A workgroup was formed, comprised of physicians and pharmacists representing federal and tribally operated hospitals and clinics. This workgroup utilized input with formulary experts from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD).

The original charge was to look at the development of a national formulary due to the substantial increases in the cost of pharmaceuticals nationally, to improve quality of care and to look at the use of formulary decisions as a cost management tool. This workgroup presented its final recommendations in the fall of 2002 and the early aspects of the National Core Formulary (NCF) began.

The committee is comprised of a physician chairperson and a pharmacist vice-chair and practicing physicians and pharmacists from IHS and Tribally operated Indian Health System facilities. The committee includes one member from each of the IHS Areas and from various sized facilities to ensure representative diversity.


The NPTC continues to appreciate opportunities for collaboration and continues to foster those relationships with the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) and the Department of Defense (DoD). The NPTC also works closely with the IHS National Supply Service Center (NSSC). While the NPTC focuses on the clinical aspects of formulary management, maintenance of the NCF and education for IHS providers, the NSSC provides the procurement, pharmacoeconomic data and pharmacy prime vendor utilization data for the committee. The NPTC also utilizes the expertise of the subject matter experts we have from the field, chief clinical consultants and our clinical programs such as the Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention and the Eye Care Coordination Committee. These collaborations enhance the NPTC’s abilities to meet its mission and ultimately improve the care that we provide in the IHS.
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