Submitting Health NZ hospital rapid assessment NPPA applications

If you’re in a Health NZ | Te Whatu Ora hospital and your patient requires a treatment urgently, find out if NPPA rapid assessment is appropriate and how to apply.

On this page

When to use a NPPA rapid assessment

Use a rapid assessment application when:

  • treatment is to be administered to an inpatient of a Health NZ hospital
  • the situation is urgent.

As a guide, if the treatment needs to start within 5 working days because of clinical urgency, then rapid assessment may be appropriate. 

Pharmac (rather than your hospital) must assess any rapid assessment applications for:

  • any pharmaceutical cancer treatment
  • rituximab
  • infliximab
  • tocilizumab

Your application still needs to meet the standards set out on the NPPA application page. 

Discharging patients

Do not use rapid assessments to help discharge patients faster. 

If a patient has started a treatment that is listed in the HML, but is not funded in the community and the treatment is required long term:

  • do not make a rapid assessment NPPA application
  • supply the patient 30 days' supply of treatment (under rule 3.5) 
  • make a standard NPPA application for community funding.

Read rule 3.5 of the Schedule

Claim number (EXCP number) 

Pharmac can only issue a claim (EXCP) number when rapid applications are submitted to us for assessment. In general, we only provide these numbers when the treatment is needed in the community long term or applications for rituximab, infliximab or tocilizumab.

In an emergency

Use your usual hospital protocols if these three conditions are met:

  • there is an immediate (life threatening) clinical need
  • the medicine is not listed in the HML for use in that indication
  • the medicine is available in the hospital.

Notify Pharmac if you’ve used a medicine in an emergency setting. We need to know:

  • what medicine was used
  • the patient’s clinical circumstances.

You can include it in the monthly reporting or email

Submitting a NPPA rapid assessment

Pharmac will assess rapid assessment applications as quickly as we can within business hours. 

Health Sector Portal

If you can access the Connected Health Network, you can use Pharmac’s Health Sector Portal to make your application. Tick the “rapid assessment” box.


  • You need to use Internet Explorer 8 or higher to access this system.
  • If you have problems accessing the forms, try a different browser or contact your IT team.

PDF NPPA forms

If you don’t have access to the Connected Health Network:

download the nppa application form

Tick the “rapid assessment” box

If your full application is over 20 MB, you can still submit the application form through the upload system. But send the attachments separately.

Or you can email:

What happens after your application is submitted

Apply through Health NZ hospital

Where one exists, you can apply using your hospital’s rapid assessment process. Unless the rapid assessments is for rituximab, infliximab or tocilizumab.

Report the decision to Pharmac within one month to

Contact us

Phone: 0800 660 050 (option 2)