Intended for healthcare professionals


French regulatory medical references are criteria, not clinical guidelines

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 28 September 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:818
  1. Herve Maisonneuve, Medical references manager,
  2. Cyrille Colin, Editor in chief, Journal d'Economie Medicale,
  3. Yves Matillon, Director
  1. Agence Nationale pour le Developpement de l'Evaluation Medicale, 159 rue Nationale, 75640 PARIS Cedex 131, France

    EDITOR,—Karen Bloor and Nick Freemantle misuse the word “guidelines” when they introduce the subject of the French national contract in their article on international experience in controlling pharmaceutical expenditure.1 In France doctors must prescribe in keeping with “regulatory medical references” and not extensive guidelines. The regulatory medical references were defined in 1993. They consist of one to three sentences, beginning with the words “Il n'y a pas lieu de …” (“It is inappropriate to …”). They have been defined as “recognised scientific criteria that make it …

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