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).

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.

Visit the NZ Formulary(external link)

For plain language resources on medicines and health conditions, PHARMAC recommends Health Navigator. 

Visit Health Navigator(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 – TAS 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 DHBs.  

Payments and procedures - TAS 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 – Ministry of Health 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:

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.

Medsafe’s website(external link)

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.