The internet protocol (IP) address of the device by which a user is connecting to the public internet is normally revealed when the user opens a page on the MedicinesComplete site. If we know that the address belongs to a subscribing customer, we could enable access without requiring the individual user to log in.
Pharmaceutical Press is prepared to offer this facility only where the IP address is registered directly to our customer - that is, when publicly accessible registers of IP addresses independently confirm the customer's permanent ownership. Component organizations of the NHS that subscribe to several publications on MedicinesComplete have tended to rely on NHS Athens authentication rather than seek to acquire an IP address where they did not own their own already.
We do, however, have a confirmed list of the IP addresses by which the NHS N3 network is connected to the public internet, and so we are able to provide login-free access to the BNF and BNF for Children on the MedicinesComplete site for any NHS staff who connect via N3 (even though our platform is not on the N3 network itself).
If your trust now redirects its internet traffic in preparation for the planned retirement of N3 (cf https://digital.nhs.uk/health-social-care-network/IP-addressing-policy) and it changes to IP addresses leased from an ISP, you and your colleagues will lose the existing login-free access to the BNF - that is, unless you also maintain an N3 router for the time being.
New provision for non-N3 addresses
We have agreed with NHS Digital's new IP address management team (HSCN IPAM) to accept verification of your new address range from them, and so if you want to use a newly acquired static IP address for access to MedicinesComplete in place of N3, please contact
in the first instance.
Tell them your new static address, and ask them to forward it to us at
as a change request in respect of British National Formulary access, cc-ing yourselves, and adding their own note of confirmation along with any other relevant comments.
We will then contact you to let you know that the change is being implemented at our end, though we may need further information from you if we create a dedicated user account.
It may be that, in due course, NHS Digital gives Pharmaceutical Press access to a continually updated register, but for the time being please regard this authentication via NHS Digital as being subject to annual renewal, and please let them and us know at once if you give up the notified IP address.
Alternative modes of access to the digital BNF
NHS personnel may access the BNF free of charge by creating an individual username+password account at MedicinesComplete (https://www.medicinescomplete.com/about/nhs.htm) or by downloading the BNF and BNF for Children app for Android and Apple iOS mobiles (https://www.bnf.org/products/bnfbnfcapp/, https://pharmpress.zendesk.com/hc/en-gb/articles/115004639668-Where-do-I-obtain-it-).
NHS organizations may also wish to consider setting up Athens authentication for MedicinesComplete or licensing our web-hosted local formulary management software product, FormularyComplete.