Increase Prescription Co-Payments

The amount NZers pay for prescriptions ($5 per item) is well below what similar OECD countries charge.

A higher co-payment would allow pharmacy to boost its earnings to keep pace with inflation and adequately remunerate the specialised workforce needed.

Higher prescription charges would be cost neutral to the government as they wouldn’t have to find funding to boost pharmacy payments as pharmacy's could retain any increase in prescription charge amounts.

Higher prescription charges would also cut down on pharmaceutical waste generated. With low or even no prescription charges in some cases, the act of conscious thought is removed from the decision to collect prescription medicines.

If the govt is concerned about public acceptance, a discretionary fund could be established for pharmacies to selectively supply identified individuals with financial hardship.

Why the contribution is important

Because pharmacy is inadequately funded and we are struggling to recruit and retain staff to the industry.

by jfhnz on April 26, 2023 at 11:31AM

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Based on: 3 votes


  • Posted by olivertay18 April 26, 2023 at 13:16

    I agree that there should be better pay for workers/pharmacists but increasing prescription co-payments to fund this is entirely the wrong approach. Consumers shouldn't experience more barriers to access the critical medicines they need.
  • Posted by Fiona April 30, 2023 at 09:36

    There are factual inaccuracies in this idea. The Prescription Co-Payment is a tax - all of the $5 fee is recouped by the Government. It is a common misconception that this is a payment to the pharmacy.
    Agree pharmacy remuneration needs to increase but this is not the solution.
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