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 DHB 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 DHB hospital devices with national contracts.
What the Schedule won’t tell you
There’s no information about medicines that aren’t funded.
The Schedule doesn’t include a medicine’s classification, for example whether a medicine is:
- prescription only (e.g. most antibiotics)
- a controlled drug (e.g. morphine) or
- an over-the-counter product (e.g. paracetamol).
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.
For plain language resources on medicines and health conditions, PHARMAC recommends Health Navigator.
The Schedule does not outline scopes of practice or prescribing rights for health professionals. These are set by the relevant professional bodies. Such as:
The Schedule does not provide pharmacy procedure, legal or best practice information.
Funding, fees and co-payments
The Schedule doesn’t show service fees paid to pharmacies (including dispensing fees). These are agreed between pharmacies and DHBs.
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.
PHARMAC and the Schedule are just one part of the health system
There’s legislation covering the prescribing and dispensing of medicines. Such as:
- the Medicines Act 1981(external link)
- the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 (external link)
- the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2002(external link)
The Ministry of Health and elected Government set policies. These include who is eligible for publicly funded treatment and who pays patient co-payments.
The Ministry also maintains systems for paying service providers, including pharmacies.
Medsafe makes sure that medicines meet standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.
DHBs have service agreements with providers, including pharmacies, to deliver health services to New Zealanders.
The data behind the Schedule is publicly available. Private companies have integrated it into their prescribing and dispensing software.