From 1 February 2021 pre-COVID-19 Special Authority criteria will be reinstated

Decision

The temporary changes will remain in place for any Special Authority applications for the relevant medicines made up to 31 January 2021.

What we’re doing

Last year, PHARMAC amended or removed funding criteria for many medicines in order to improve access to these treatments in anticipation of, and/or in response to, COVID-19 impacts on the health sector following the shift to Alert Level 4 in March 2020.  

Following consultation in June 2020, PHARMAC signalled that the temporary changes were to be reversed along with a number of changes becoming permanent.  More information is contained in notification letter dated 21 August 2020, including detail of the changes that will occur in Section B and Part II of Section H from 1 February 2021.

Read the June 2020 consultation document

Read the 21 August 2020 notice 

The temporary changes will remain in place for any Special Authority applications for the relevant medicines made up to 31 January 2021.  Any applications made from 1 February 2021 will revert to previous criteria.  

Changes to Special Authority criteria will only affect new Special Authority applications.  Any active Special Authority approvals will continue in force, so people with current approvals will only be affected if and when a Special Authority renewal application is required. 

If there are any difficulties with individuals transitioning to the changed criteria from 1 February 2021, a Special Authority waiver application can be considered.  

Read more about applying for a Special Authority waiver

Who we think will be most interested

  • Prescribers
  • DHB hospital service managers
  • Community and hospital pharmacists
  • Patients and their whānau

Detail about this decision

Information about temporary changes to be reversed, and temporary changes that will not be reversed (i.e. that will become permanent changes), can be found in the notification letter dated 21 August 2020.

Read the notice from 21 August 2020 

If you have any questions about this decision, you can email us at enquiry@pharmac.govt.nz; or call our toll free number (9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday) on 0800 660 050.