Pharmaceutical Management Agency: Changes to the frequency of medicine dispensing.

Additional medicine to patients

The difference between giving the whole prescription to a patient and the amount of a medicine patients would collect, on average, under monthly dispensing.

All-at-once dispensing (also known as stat dispensing)

Dispensing a 90-day supply of medicine (or, in some cases, a 180-day supply) all at once. “Stat” is an abbreviation of the Latin word statim, which means immediately.

Close control

Lets health professionals prescribe medicines more often than the New Zealand Pharmaceutical Schedule normally allows. Certain conditions must be met before health professionals can use close control.

District health boards

Entities set up by the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000. Their purpose is to, among other roles, fund individuals and organisations to provide health and disability services for the district’s population. All district health boards have contracts with pharmacists to dispense medicines.

District Health Boards New Zealand

An organisation formed by all 21 district health boards. It co-ordinates, on selected issues, to help district health boards meet their objectives and accountabilities to the Crown.

Health Payments, Agreements and Compliance (HealthPAC)

A business unit of the Ministry of Health that pays the contracted providers of health and disability services. It also provides audit and compliance services for district health boards and the Ministry of Health.

New Zealand Health Information Service (NZHIS)

A group within the Ministry of Health, responsible for collecting and sharing health-related data.

New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority (Medsafe)

A business unit of the Ministry of Health, responsible for regulating medicines.

New Zealand Pharmaceutical Schedule (the Schedule)

A document that lists medicines the Government subsidises, and medicines that are not subsidised, and the rules that must be followed to prescribe and dispense them.

Non-stat medicines

Medicines that the Schedule says can only be dispensed as a 30-day (or less) supply. A prescription for a 90-day supply would be dispensed on 3 occasions. (There is a small group of non-stat medicines that can, if the prescription says so, be dispensed in greater supply. This can happen if the patient needs continuous access to their medicine).

Pharmaceutical Information Database

A data warehouse managed by NZHIS. It collects data from pharmacists’ claims for reimbursement for the cost of medicines and dispensing fees, as well as other data from the pharmacists’ contracts with district health boards.

Pharmacology and Therapeutics Advisory Committee

A committee set up to provide Pharmac with independent and objective advice on the consequences of proposed amendments to the Schedule.

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