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, 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 scheme 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