Canterbury DHB


PHARMAC Rules and Regulations

The provision of all medication is now governed by PHARMAC rules and regulations. Prescribing medication within the hospital must be in accordance with PHARMAC Hospital Medicines List (HML) rules. These govern the medicines that may be prescribed and the situations in which they may be prescribed in NZ hospitals. From a local point of view, prescribing in accordance with the Pink Book, Canterbury Hospital HealthPathways, or the Haematology Red Book will normally ensure compliance.

In addition, DHBs must submit a claim to PHARMAC for reimbursement of the cost of chemotherapy used. This means it is vital to follow the PHARMAC rules. Section B of the Pharmaceutical Schedule outlines the chemotherapeutic agents that may be used to treat malignant conditions and any restrictions on their use.

Although most of the chemotherapy used in haematology remains freely available without restriction, the following agents require Special Authority application for approval:

Due to the financial implications, these drugs will not be dispensed until the Special Authority has been granted.

If a drug is to be used that is not listed in the PHARMAC HML or Schedule, or is to be used outside of the restrictions permitted in the PHARMAC HML or Schedule (e.g. alemtuzumab), an application to PHARMAC for a Named Patient Pharmaceutical Assessment (NPPA) must be made. Where treatment is required within 5 days, a local "rapid assessment" can be made. Treatment can be initiated, but a declaration of use and reasons for the use must be made. This involves adding a "Medication Note" document to the patient’s Health Connect South record.

Other medications used in haematology that require special authority include:

About this Canterbury DHB document (11659):

Document Owner:

Timothy Vincent (see Who's Who)

Last Reviewed:

March 2020

Next Review:

March 2023


Note: Only the electronic version is controlled. Once printed, this is no longer a controlled document. Disclaimer

Topic Code: 11659