Pharmaceutical Schedule Rules on prescribing and dispensing of Class B controlled drugs

Update Medicines

Changes to Schedule funding rules for class b controlled drugs are on hold.

Background

In November 2022, we consulted on a proposal to amend the Pharmaceutical Schedule General Rules (the Schedule Rules) to bring funding in line with legislative changes to the prescribing and dispensing of controlled drugs. 

In light of the feedback on this proposal, Manatū Hauora, the Ministry of Health, has indicated that it would like to revisit the regulatory arrangements for opioids. They have asked Pharmac to delay making a decision on the proposed changes to the Schedule Rules to support this work.

We have agreed to this delay, meaning that the proposed changes will not happen in February as initially planned. We will keep you updated as this work progresses.

What this means

Although the legislative changes came into effect on 22 December 2022, the Schedule Rules on prescribing and dispensing of Class B controlled drugs have not changed, and only a quantity sufficient to provide treatment for a period of up to 1 month in total will be subsidised.

Manatū Hauora states that prescribers are still required to operate within the limits of the Pharmaceutical Schedule.

FAQs from Manatū Hauora on the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Regulations 2022 [PDF](external link)