NZ pharmacy prescribing list concerns

02 June 2022

ANZCA and NZSA have met with the NZ Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Pharmacy Council to discuss their concerns over the addition of 200 more Pharmacist Prescriber medicines, including several anaesthetic drugs.

The MoH and the Pharmacy Council have made an alteration to their consultation process following the comprehensive meeting between them and the ANZCA New Zealand National Chair, Dr Sally Ure and New Zealand Society of Anaesthetists (NZSA) President Dr Sheila Hart on Friday 20 May.

The meeting was organised after ANZCA and NZSA expressed concerns about the addition of 200 more medicines to the list of Pharmacist Prescriber medicines, including several anaesthetic medicines such as rocuronium.
ANZCA, NZSA and NZMA submissions strongly opposed the additions, but it was felt those recommendations weren’t heard. The meeting in May was to clarify why these medicines were on the list and whether consultation processes were adequate.
However Dr Ure says despite assurances, there remains a lack of clarity on the rationale behind the inclusion of the anaesthetic medications on this list (and by the same token, the exclusion of others). “There are a number of medications on the list that should only ever be administered by a medical practitioner or advanced paramedic appropriately trained in airway management. While the Pharmacy Council provided reassurance that the appropriate safety mechanisms are in place to prevent these medications being used inappropriately, currently there is no model of care in New Zealand where an ability for Pharmacist Prescribers to prescribe anaesthetic medications is desirable."

Last updated 12:24 8.07.2022