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Change to prescription charge January 2013

20 December 2012

Media Release

Change to prescription charge January 2013

The Ministry of Health would like to remind New Zealanders that a change to prescription charges will be introduced on 1 January 2013.

The Government subsidises prescription medicines and New Zealanders contribute a small co-payment when they pay a prescription charge.

From 1 January, the amount any individual contributes towards the cost of their medication will increase from $3 to $5 for each new prescription item. If your medicine is not fully subsidised, there may be an additional cost.

This is the first increase to the prescription charge in 20 years.

Prescriptions for children under six continue to be free.

Individuals and families can reduce their prescription costs by using the Pharmaceutical Subsidy Card. All New Zealanders are eligible for this free programme.

Once a total of 20 new prescription items is reached, there are no more prescription charges until 1 February the following year. Family members, living in the same household, can pool their prescription items to reach this total.

By using the Pharmaceutical Subsidy Card, individuals or families will pay a maximum of $100 on prescription charges in any one year.

It is easier if people use the same pharmacy regularly for their prescription items, but if they visit a different pharmacy, they can keep the receipts for any prescription items and have them added to their record at their regular pharmacy.

Alternatively, people can collect all their prescription receipts and when they get to 20 new prescription items, take the receipts into any pharmacy and ask for a Pharmaceutical Subsidy Card.

You can find more information about Prescription charges and the Pharmaceutical Subsidy Card at the Ministry of Health website www.health.govt.nz/medications or ask your pharmacist.

ENDS

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