Decision relating to dietitian prescribers

Medicines Decision

PHARMAC is pleased to announce that the approval of a proposal to amend the Pharmaceutical Schedule rules to support the new prescribing rights that have been granted to Dietitian Prescribers.

This was the subject of a consultation letter dated 4 August 2015.

The proposal was approved as consulted on. In summary, the effect of this decision is that:

  • The restrictions in the Schedule applying to dietitians’ prescriptions (rule 3.5 of Section A of the Schedule) will be deleted from 1 October, meaning that prescriptions written by dietitian prescribers will be valid for subsidy for all products that are within their scope of practice.
  • Any future changes to the range of medicines able to be prescribed by dietitian prescribers will not need further approval by PHARMAC in order for those prescriptions to be subsidised.

Feedback received

We appreciate all of the feedback that we received and acknowledge the time people took to respond. All consultation responses received by the closing date were considered in their entirety in making a decision on the proposed changes. Most responses were supportive of the proposal, and the following issues were raised in relation to specific aspects of the proposal:

Theme Comment
Some respondents questioned who will manage the list of pharmaceuticals that fall within a dietitian prescriber’s scope of practice, and how pharmacies will have access to that list. We understand that the Dietitians Board intends to maintain and publish a list of medicines that are within the scope of practice of dietitian prescribers.
One respondent suggested that PHARMAC monitor and publish information on the increases in the use of pharmaceuticals as a result of new prescribing groups. We note that it can be difficult to attribute change in the in use of a product to a single cause, however we note the suggestion and will consider it further.
Some respondents requested that dietitians be able to prescribe the Clinicians Renal Vit multivitamin supplement that PHARMAC has recently decided to list in the Schedule. As the Schedule no longer specifies which products will be subsidised on a dietitian’s prescription, this product could be prescribed for subsidy if it fell within a dietitian prescriber’s scope of practice.

More information

If you have any questions about this decision, you can email us at or call our toll free number (9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday) on 0800 66 00 50.