What Special Authority provides

Approved prescribers get a Special Authority number that must appear on the prescription. 

The Special Authority number can:

  • provide access to subsidy
  • provide an increased subsidy, or
  • waive certain restrictions otherwise present on the Community Pharmaceutical.

Before you apply

Most regions (previously DHBs) are set up for the electronic system and only require a letter of audit to access it. Contact your local hospital IT department to get the process started. 

Apply for Special Authority numbers electronically

Electronic Special Authority is a service available through the Connected Health Information Service Network.

  • Electronic Special Authority applications return a response in seconds.
  • Paper Special Authority application forms are processed within 10 working days.

To apply for Special Authority numbers electronically, you need:

  • access to Connected Health
  • a digital certificate
  • a letter of audit.

Connected Health access

Your practice or organisation must be approved for Connected Health access and must connect to the system using an approved Connected Health network.

Digital certificate

All users of the system must use a HealthSecure digital certificate.

Letter of audit

All users of the system must return a signed letter of audit, as applications may be audited against the criteria set out in PHARMAC’s Pharmaceutical Schedule.

Once you are setup

Once you have these conditions in place, you’ll use your Practice ID and registration number to log into the system.

As part of the Electronic Special Authority, you are also able to access:

  • Patient Entitlements system — prescription subsidy cards, and
  • Online Special Authority — allows you to look up your patient's special authority history.   

Access Online Special Authority

Several Practice Management systems have Electronic Special Authority integrated into their system. Contact your software vendor to check if your system has an integrated version.

Who to contact

About applications

If you need help using the system or have issues submitting an application, contact Sector Operations.

About the Special Authority criteria

Pharmac sets the criteria for Special Authority applications. If you have any questions about the criteria, contact Pharmac or visit their website.