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PHARMAC To Remove Medicine Dispensing Restrictions

Most funded medicines will return to all at once dispensing because PHARMAC is removing most of the temporary dispensing restrictions put in place to manage supply during COVID-19. The change will be effective from midnight Friday 31 July 2020.

“This means that from Saturday 1 August pharmacists will be able to return to dispensing three months’ supply all at once for most medicines, with exceptions for those medicines which have continuing problems with supply,” explains PHARMAC’s director of operations Lisa Williams. “Medicines that were on monthly dispensing before 27 March 2020 will of course also continue to be dispensed monthly.”

New Zealand is at Alert Level 1, but international medicine supply chains are still affected by COVID-19. Returning to all at once dispensing for all medicines is dependent on having enough stock available in New Zealand, and supply chains for each medicine being robust.

“We are removing the dispensing restrictions for most medicines because, following consultation with suppliers, distributors and wholesalers, we are now confident that there is sufficient stock in New Zealand to support this change,” says Ms Williams.

“We are giving three weeks’ notice because we know the sector (suppliers, wholesalers, distributers and pharmacies) need time to prepare for the return to all-at-once dispensing.

There is no need for New Zealanders to stockpile medicines at home. PHARMAC works closely with suppliers to ensure that New Zealanders have uninterrupted access to the medicines they need.

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