Pharmacist provision of NRT

From 1 October 2017 pharmacists can provide funded nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) without a prescription from a prescriber.

The Pharmaceutical Schedule has been amended to allow non-prescribing practitioners to supply specified funded pharmaceuticals. Non-prescribing practitioners include Quitcard providers, vaccinators and pharmacists. A pharmacist can 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

This information only relates to the funding of nicotine replacement therapy, pharmacists should contact their pharmacy portfolio manager for more information on service fees. (See additional training/accreditation section below)

What you need to know and do

  • Pharmacists can initiate funded access to NRT for patients without a prescription from a prescriber.
  • You can provide up to three months’ supply of NRT in monthly lots (meeting all the Pharmaceutical Schedule rules that apply) from 1 October 2017.
  • This includes any of the nicotine products listed in Section B of the Pharmaceutical Schedule, ie nicotine patches, gum and lozenges.
  • Use the prescription subsidy code A4 which will attract a $5 co-payment for the first dispensing.
  • Document the patient information and what was supplied on a paper copy and file it in their batch for claiming purposes.

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.

Your questions answered:

Q: Do you need additional training/accreditation before supplying funded NRT?

A: No. NRT is a general sale product and you can supply funded NRT without additional training.

NOTE: 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: who can I refer people who require extra support to quit smoking 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