Special Authority applications

Pharmac sets specific criteria that must be met before some medicines will be funded. We do this to ensure medicines are targeted to those who would benefit most from treatment.

On this page

Pharmac's role

Pharmac sets the criteria for funding. Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora manages Special Authority applications. 

How to find Special Authority criteria

Each medicine with restrictions has its own form that’s linked from the Schedule listing. The listing has the words "Special Authority", then a hyperlink, such as SA1234. The link will take you to a PDF form with the access criteria.

Search the Schedule for a treatment(external link)

or you can search a list of all SA forms

The forms outline the requirements that need to be met for the medicine to be funded.

Patient’s clinical circumstances don’t quite meet the requirements?

Pharmac manages a Special Authority waiver scheme. If someone doesn't quite meet the exact criteria of a Special Authority, but meets the intent of the criteria, prescribers can ask us to waive (ignore) a specific criteria.

Apply for a Special Authority waiver

Apply to Sector Operations Health New Zealand 

Use the Electronic Special Authority (ESA) system to fill out the form and apply for a Special Authority online.

If the ESA link doesn’t work(external link), Health New Zealand’s website has details on how to get access. 

Ministry of Health
Private Bag 3015

More information

Pharmac has policies in place to respond to exceptional circumstances that require medicines to be funded outside the Schedule.

Named Patient Pharmaceutical Assessment

Special Authority waiver

Who to contact

Contact Sector Operations about Special Authority applications:

0800 855 066


They can answer questions related to:

  • declined decisions
  • submitting paper-based applications
  • issues with the online system.

Pharmac sets the criteria for Special Authority applications. If you have questions about the criteria, email us on enquiry@pharmac.govt.nz