COVID-19: Information for pharmacists
Our response to the pandemic is evolving rapidly. We will keep this page updated.
Last updated: 15 April 2020
On this page:
- Posters about dispensing changes
- Influenza vaccine
- We're listening to the experts
- Use Rule 4.4.2 at your discretion
- NPPA nominated pharmacy requirement removed
- PPE not funded by PHARMAC
- Who to contact
We know this is a difficult time for pharmacists. We appreciate your work. Kia kaha.
We've created these posters to inform your customers about what the dispensing changes mean, including the cost.
Click the image. The PDF should open in a new tab. You can save or print the poster from there.
To support social distancing, we encourage pharmacists to use the Access Exemption Rule in the Schedule (4.4.2).
This allows pharmacists to dispense prescriptions all at once to certain types of patients, whether or not those products are on the stat list. We authorise pharmacists to also use this rule for people who:
- are immunocompromised
- are elderly
- have underlying health conditions.
PHARMAC secured 1.768 million doses of influenza vaccine for this flu season.
Many people have contacted us with suggestions for changes we could make to support the health system and ensure people get the medicines they need.
We've removed the requirement to nominate a specific pharmacy while New Zealand is under Level 4 movement restrictions.
This allows people to continue to access their medication even if they can't get to their nominated pharmacy.
During the response to COVID-19:
- NPPA medication can be dispensed, and claimed for, by any pharmacy.
- approved lamotrigine exceptional circumstances medication can be dispensed, and claimed for, by any pharmacy
- approved lamotrigine exceptional circumstances medication can be dispensed at a dose different to that specified on the approval without notification to, or the approval of, PHARMAC Exceptional Circumstances.
Sector Operations will process claims
Sector Operations have advised that they will be able to process claims that do not originate from the nominated pharmacy.
We will manage wastage on a case-by-case basis if the patient does not return to the nominated pharmacy.
PHARMAC does not fund PPE. The National Health Co-ordination Centre (NHCC) is coordinating the pandemic supply of these items with their supplier.
If you have questions, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
We are experiencing a high number of enquiries, we recommend you email at this time.
Last updated: 5 June 2020