Collecting and paying for medicines

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Why can’t I collect all three months of my medicine at one time?

Reasons you can't collect your whole prescription include:

  • your doctor decided how much you can get
  • the medicine doesn't stay active for long
  • the cost of the medicine
  • a supply shortage of the medicine
  • laws apply to how the medicine is dispensed, such as controlled drugs.

There are exceptions to limited dispensing. Talk to your pharmacist if you are going away on holiday or it's difficult for you to get to the pharmacy.

Why has my pharmacist charged me?

  • Pharmac might not fully fund your medicine. 
  • A prescription written by a specialist or dentist can cost.
  • The pharmacist may have charged you for an extra service, such as a faxed prescription or special packaging.
  • There is no set pricing for partially funded or unfunded medicines.

Talk to your pharmacist about what the charges were and how you could avoid them. You can ask another pharmacy to compare costs.

I'm visiting New Zealand, how much will my medicine cost?

Pharmac decides what medicines to fund for eligible people. Pharmac does not decide who is eligible for funded medicine. If you are not eligible, talk to a pharmacist about the cost and whether your medicine is available.

Guide to eligibility – Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora website(external link)

Even if you are eligible, you will need a prescription from a New Zealand doctor or prescriber.

Health subsidy cards

A Community Services Card (CSC)

If you have a CSC, you may pay less for GP visits.

Community Services Card - Work and Income website(external link)

Support for health practitioner costs

In addition to the Community Services Card, Work and Income may be able to help with healthcare costs for you and your family, if you're on benefit or a low income.

Prescriptions and health costs - Work and Income website(external link)

High-Use Health Card (HUHC)

If you've visited the doctor more than 12 times in the last 12 months, you may qualify for an HUHC. The HUHC may reduce the cost of:

  • prescription fees
  • fees for after-hours general practice visits
  • visits to a general practice where you are not enrolled

High-Use Health Card - Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora website(external link)

SuperGold card

The SuperGold card offers discounts on a range of products and services, including health services. The SuperGold card is for:

  • New Zealand residents aged 65 or over
  • people who qualify for a NZ Super or a Veteran’s Pension.

About the SuperGold Card(external link)

Filling your prescription for Maviret

Maviret is funded for the treatment of hepatitis C. Only Maviret AbbVie Care pharmacies can dispense funded Maviret.

How to access Maviret

Who to contact

If you have questions about funding for a medicine, email

If you have questions about how a medicine is working or any side effects, talk to a trusted health professional, like a pharmacist or the person who prescribed the medicine. Pharmac can't comment on your individual clinical circumstances.