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Pharmacist provision of subsidised NRT

Information for pharmacy: change of access to funded Nicotine Replacement Therapy

From 1 October 2017, pharmacists will be able to provide funded nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) without a prescription from a prescriber. 

This will increase the number of ways in which people can access funded NRT, and in some cases, may reduce the number of steps to get funded NRT.

This information only relates to the funding of nicotine replacement therapy, pharmacists should contact their pharmacy portfolio manager for more information on service fees.

Key Information pharmacists will need to know to provide funded NRT without a prescription 

  • Pharmacists will be able to provide up to three months’ supply of NRT in monthly lots (meeting all the Schedule rules that apply) from 1 October 2017.
  • This will include any of the nicotine products listed in Section B of the Pharmaceutical Schedule eg nicotine patches, gum and lozenges.
  •  Pharmacists should use the prescription subsidy code A4 which will attract a $5 co-payment for the first dispensing.
  •  Pharmacists will need to document the patient information and what was supplied on a paper copy and file it in their batch for claiming purposes.



Q: Do pharmacists need additional training/accreditation before they can supply funded NRT?

 A: No. NRT is a general sale product and pharmacists will be able to supply funded NRT without additional training. 

Some pharmacists and/or pharmacy staff may be trained/accredited to provide more comprehensive smoking cessation services.  Funding for this is separate from this decision and is authorised by the Smoking Cessation Portfolio Manager in each DHB.  

The 2017/2018 CPSA has a smoking cessation component which is also separate from this decision and will be managed by Pharmacy Portfolio Managers in each DHB in a way which best suits the needs of the population.


Q: If people require extra support to quit smoking, who can I refer them to?

A: You can refer patients to Quitline, GP or locally provided smoking cessation support services.


Q: How much does a pharmacy/pharmacist get paid for providing funded NRT to patients?

A: There is a paid subsidy for the pharmaceutical, the margin on that pharmaceutical and the service fee under the CPSA


Q: How has the Pharmaceutical Schedule changed to make this happen?

A new rule has been added to the Schedule to allow non-prescribing practitioners to supply specified funded pharmaceuticals. Non-prescribing practitioners include Quitcard providers, vaccinators and pharmacists.   

A pharmacist will be able to provide specified funded pharmaceuticals where there is a note in the Schedule that says:

 Note: may be provided by a pharmacist under the non-prescribing Practitioners provisions in Part III of Section A

 From 1 October 2017, this note will apply to nicotine replacement therapy.