About the Pharmaceutical Schedule

The Schedule is a list of all government-funded medicines and related products in New Zealand.

In the Schedule you’ll find:

  • The list of funded medicines in the community
  • The list of funded medicines that can be used in Health NZ | Te Whatu Ora hospitals
  • The rules for dispensing or giving medicines
  • The price and subsidy (the amount that it is funded for) for each medicine
  • Any rules or limits on access to funding for specific medicines or groups of medicines
  • The list of Health NZ hospital medical devices with national contracts.

Answers to some common questions about the Schedule

What the Schedule won’t tell you

There’s no information about medicines that aren’t funded. 

To find out if a medicine is approved for use in New Zealand, whether it's funded or not, you can check Medsafe's database(external link)

The Schedule doesn’t include a medicine’s classification

For example whether a medicine is:

  • prescription only (such as most antibiotics)
  • a controlled drug (such as morphine) or
  • an over-the-counter product (such as paracetamol).

Classification information is available on Medsafe’s website(external link)

The Schedule does not provide prescribing advice

The NZ Formulary is an independent resource offering information about medicines that has been clinically validated. Health professionals can also find guidance on best practice.

The NZ Formulary(external link)

For plain language resources on medicines and health conditions, Pharmac recommends Healthify. 

Healthify(external link)

The Schedule does not outline scopes of practice or prescribing rights for health professionals

These are set by the relevant professional bodies. Such as:

Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners(external link)

Nursing Council of New Zealand(external link)

Pharmacy Council of New Zealand(external link)

The Schedule does not provide pharmacy procedure, legal, or best practice information.

Pharmacy procedure manual – Health NZ website(external link)

Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand website(external link)

Funding, fees and co-payments

The Schedule doesn’t show service fees paid to pharmacies (including dispensing fees). These are agreed between pharmacies and Te Whatu Ora.

Payments and procedures - Health NZ website(external link)

It does not say who is eligible for funded medicines or who will pay a co-payment. These policies are set by the Ministry of Health.

Guide to eligibility for publicly funded health services – Health NZ website(external link)

Pharmac and the Schedule are just one part of the health system

There’s legislation covering the prescribing and dispensing of medicines. Such as:

Medicines Act 1981(external link)

Misuse of Drugs Act 1975(external link)

Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022(external link)

The Ministry of Health and elected Government set policies. These include who is eligible for publicly funded treatment and who pays any patient co-payments.

Medsafe makes sure that medicines meet standards of safety, quality, and effectiveness.

Medsafe’s website(external link)

Health NZ | Te Whatu Ora has service agreements with providers, including pharmacies, to deliver health services to New Zealanders. Health NZ maintains systems for paying service providers, including pharmacies.

The data behind the Schedule is publicly available. Private companies have integrated it into their prescribing and dispensing software.