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 prescription medicine is usually $5. This standard charge does not apply to children aged 13 and under. Fees for medicines that are not fully funded by PHARMAC remain the same.

Pharmacies may charge for extra services such as medicines delivery or packaging.

There may be an additional cost if a subscription medicine is not fully subsidised.

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 general practice 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
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