Foundational data services the New Zealand Universal List of Medicines and New Zealand Formulary are required standards for the health and disability sector
These data services provide essential online searchable and downloadable information about medicines and their safe use, for the benefit of health providers and consumers. All systems with medicines management functions must use these services in order to be properly functional and interoperable in the digital health ecosystem.
NZ Universal List of Medicines
Established in 2011, the NZ Universal List of Medicines, is the standard source of naming and descriptive information about the medicines available in New Zealand. Users have access to up-to-date information on over 16,000 medicines, which can be searched online or loaded into health providers' own information systems.
Each medicine is listed with standardised non-proprietary and trade names, approval status, safety information and any subsidy details. Sources are the Pharmaceutical Schedule and Medsafe data sheets and published consumer medicines information. In addition, Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) from the GS1 National Product Catalogue can be recorded for automatic identification and data capture in medicines management.
The NZ Universal List of Medicines incorporates the NZ Medicines Terminology, the underlying local system of SNOMED CT concepts and descriptions for each product, its active ingredients, units of use and packaging. Concepts representing approved medicines are mapped to the SNOMED International Edition product hierarchy to enable clinical decision support and interoperability.
SNOMED CT and GS1 standards are themselves endorsed sector standards.
The NZ Formulary™ is an online resource available to all health professionals who prescribe, dispense or administer medicines in primary and secondary care. It builds on the NZ Universal List of Medicines to add evidence-based medicines information and best practice guidance. The NZ Formulary includes the New Zealand Formulary for Children.
Implementing the NZ Universal List of Medicines and NZ Formulary with all new investment in clinical information systems is a requirement of the DHB Operational Policy Framework 2018/19. DHBs should include their implementation plans for these services in their annual plans and the relevant business cases for review.
Primary care and community allied health providers should implement the NZ Universal List of Medicines to ensure they have the correct up-to-date medicines information in their own systems and remain interoperable.
Patient portals and personal health apps also need to implement these services.
API in development
An application programming interface (API) is being built by the NZ Formulary team to enable real-time access to NZ Universal List of Medicines and NZ Formulary content and to make it easy to integrate with these resources. The API is based on the endorsed HL7(R) FHIR(R) standard. You can view the draft specification here http://build.fhir.org/ig/HL7NZ/nzf/branches/main/index.html and comments are invited by email to [email protected].
Related standards work
The following standards and guides are in development.
- Guidance to providers and their industry partners on integrating with the NZ Universal List of Medicines
- Prescribing data standard
- Adverse reaction reporting data standard
- Medicines indication data standard
The NZ Universal List of Medicines and NZ Formulary continue to be developed to:
- extend the NZULM to medical devices and other new types of content
- strengthen the link to the SNOMED International Edition to enhance interoperability
- add an application programming interface (API) for real-time integration with clinical and consumer apps
- add coded indication and contraindication information to the NZ Formulary to enable automated clinical decision support.
Find out more
This notice replaces the HISO 10024 New Zealand Medicines Terminology Recommendation Report (2009).