Propofol: Resolved

Propofol is a sedative used in critical care and in general surgery. There is currently no shortage of propofol in New Zealand.

Internationally, propofol is in short supply and PHARMAC has worked with the supplier (Fresenius Kabi) to ensure that there is sufficient supply to meet ongoing demand. 

Internationally, risks to ongoing supply remain, and therefore please exercise caution. 

While there is no current shortage, we ask that clinicians do not stockpile propofol. Stockpiling affects equitable access to stock across New Zealand and makes it very difficult for suppliers and PHARMAC to forecast future demand. 

International advice

Some international clinical groups have developed guidance to help manage demand for anaesthetic medicines during the global response to COVID-19.

> Read ‘Drug demand-supply guidance’ from the UK(external link) 

Who to contact

If you have any questions about propofol, email