Prescription charges

Many medicines in New Zealand are subsidised by the Government. You make a small contribution to the cost of the medicines you receive when you pay a prescription charge.

The prescription charge for each subsidised medication is $5. Prescriptions for children under six are free. Under-13s are also exempt from the standard $5 pharmacy charge for each prescription item from 1 July 2015.

If your medicine is not fully subsidised, there may be an additional cost.

Once patients and their families have collected 20 new prescription items in a year, they can get a Prescription Subsidy Card, which means they won’t have to pay any more prescription charges until 1 February the following year. Find out more from the Prescription Subsidy Card page.

For further information talk to your GP or pharmacist.


Find out more from the Ministry

  • Pharmaceutical co-payments – lists prescribers who are approved for $5 co-payments on subsidised medicines
  • Community Services Card – can reduce the cost of prescriptions from providers without a Ministry, DHB or PHO contract
  • High Use Health Card – can reduce the cost of prescriptions from providers without a Ministry, DHB or PHO contract
Back to top