Pharmacy Guild of New ZealandWednesday 15 February 2017, 2:13PM
The Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand (the Guild) welcomes the
Medicines Classification Committee (MCC) recommendation to
reclassify selected oral contraceptives as restricted medicines,
allowing trained pharmacists to dispense repeat supplies of oral
contraceptives to women who have had them prescribed within the
last three years. Medsafe has accepted this recommendation.
The Guild strongly supported the reclassification proposal when
it was originally submitted to MCC in 2015 and believe the model of
care recommended by the MCC for the supply of oral contraceptives
provides considerable safety, ensures all women speak to a health
professional, and provides an integrated approach with multiple
opportunities for a referral to a doctor or other health care team.
With the patient's consent, pharmacists will notify their doctor of
the supply of the oral contraceptive to ensure the sharing of
important health information between health care providers.
Guild Chief Executive, Andrew Gaudin says "Community pharmacy is
ideally placed and qualified to be providing these extended
services to their patients and we are extremely pleased to see MCC
support community pharmacy in playing a greater role in primary
"Pharmacies already provide a range of health services to their
local communities cost effectively, efficiently and conveniently
and we strongly support increasing accessibility to medicine such
as the oral contraceptive through reclassification. The Ministry of
Health's aim to deliver more convenient health services to patients
in their communities and this reclassification supports this.
"Access will be particularly improved over weekends and public
holidays when general practice and family planning clinics are
generally closed. Availability from community pharmacies, many of
which are open on weekends and have extended opening hours, will
ensure continuity of treatment for women who have run out of their
"The reclassification will also provide women with a complete
solution at the time of a pharmacy-held ECP consultation if
necessary, provided they have previously been prescribed the oral
contraceptive within the last three years.
"We thank Green Cross Health and Natalie Gauld Limited for their
efforts in driving this initiative and look forward to learning
more about the training and accreditation process."