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Subsidy Card Reduces Prescription Costs

31 January 2013
Media release

Subsidy Card Reduces Prescription Costs

An annual scheme that significantly reduces the amount New Zealanders pay for their prescription medications starts again tomorrow.

People are eligible for the Pharmaceutical Subsidy Card programme once they have collected 20 new prescription items from 1 February. Family members, living in the same household, can pool their prescription items to reach this total.

Once you receive your card, you do not have to pay any additional prescription charges until 1 February the following year.

The Government subsidises prescription medicines and New Zealanders contribute a small co-payment when they pay a prescription charge. This year the prescription charge increased from $3 to $5 per new prescription item, the first increase in 20 years.

People who already had a subsidy card may not have noticed this increase until now, but from 1 February, everyone will pay the prescription charge until they reach 20 items and become eligible for the exemption again.

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 www.health.govt.nz/medications or ask your pharmacist.


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