COVID-19: Information for patients

Is there enough of my medicine?

We all have a role to play in keeping medicines available for our community. Please avoid stockpiling your medicines. Stockpiling could lead to someone else missing out.

We are monitoring stockpiling behaviour and we may re-instate monthly dispensing.

Read more about the changes to dispensing 

PHARMAC, pharmacies and suppliers are working closely together to maintain continuous medicines supply, and to put in place measures to minimise and fairly distribute any medicines in short supply. 

You should make sure you always have 1 to 2 weeks worth of your regular medicines. 

What if there is a shortage?

If there is a shortage of your medicine, PHARMAC may change how much medicine can be dispensed at one time. You may need to collect smaller amounts of your medicine more frequently. 

We will keep pharmacists up-to-date on any supply issues

Phone your nearest pharmacy and ask them if they are able to fill your prescription.

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

PHARMAC decides what medicines to fund for eligible people. The Ministry of Health decides who is eligible for funded medicine.

Read more about eligibility – Ministry of Health website(external link)

You will need a prescription from a New Zealand doctor or prescriber.

Talk to a pharmacist about the cost and availability of your medication. 

Easier access to some medicines

During the response to COVID-19, PHARMAC made it easier to get funded access to some medicines, including at least nine cancer medicines. 

Find out more about the changes to access criteria

Nominated pharmacy

If you have a medicine that has received funding through the NPPA process, you will have nominated a pharmacy to collect that medicine from. You must use your nominated pharmacy.

As we monitor the ongoing developments of our response to COVID-19, this may change.

Who to contact

If you are concerned about the availability of your medicine, contact your pharmacist.