From today, there will be no cost to pick up most prescription items from your local pharmacy, as the standard $5 collection charge has been removed.

“We know there are people who put off collecting their medicines because they can’t afford the charge,” says Emma Prestidge, Interim Director, Primary, Community and Rural, National Commissioning, Te Whatu Ora.

“In some cases this could have serious consequences for their health. We hope removing the charge will mean more people taking the medicines they need to stay well.”

However people may still have to pay to collect some prescription items, for example for medicines prescribed by private specialists and private dentists.

Any family which pays for 20 prescription items in a year is eligible for a Prescription Subsidy Card, which means they won’t have to pay for any more prescription items until 1 February the following year. A family includes a person’s partner and dependent children aged from 14 to 18.

Collecting prescription items for children under 14 is already free.

For more information see Prescription charges and the prescription subsidy scheme | Ministry of Health NZ