Hospital purchases of special foods

OIA response

Request for information about DHB reporting about and claiming of rebates for special foods.

4 February 2020

[Name and contact details withheld]


Thank you for your email of 7 January 2020.  You have asked:

  • How is information about DHB hospitals’ purchases of special foods provided to PHARMAC for reporting purchases?  Are the volumes provided monthly to PHARMAC or do the hospitals submit a claim as retail pharmacies do?
  • Do DHB hospitals claim the rebate for special foods with a confidential rebate?

Each month, each District Health Board (DHB) provides PHARMAC with information about its hospital purchases of special foods. 

If the hospital dispenses special foods to its patients, they may make a community claim (like retail pharmacies do).  This community claim will then be subtracted from the purchase cost so that PHARMAC does not double count it in its reporting and rebate calculations.

PHARMAC will claim any confidential rebates on special foods on behalf of the DHBs.  These rebates will cover community dispensing of special foods.  If listed in section H of the New Zealand Pharmaceutical Schedule, the amount purchased by DHB hospitals will also be covered.

We trust that this information answers your questions. 

Your information request has been considered under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA).  We are making our information more freely available, so we will now publish selected OIA responses (excluding personal details) on our website.  Please get in touch with us if you have any questions about this.


Yours sincerely

Rachel Read
Policy Manager, Engagement and Implementation