Scope of Practice
Under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 the Pharmacy Council (the Council) must publish a description of the contents of the profession in terms of one or more scopes of practice. The Council has developed the competence and registration requirements for the Pharmacist Prescriber scope of practice. In this scope suitably qualified and trained pharmacists who are already working in a collaborative health team environment will be able to prescribe medicines.
Education and training of pharmacist prescribers
A postgraduate qualification is required to become a Pharmacist Prescriber. The two currently accredited programmes are: Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Pharmacy in Prescribing offered by the University of Auckland, and Postgraduate Certificate in Pharmacist Prescribing offered by the University of Otago
Refer to the Council’s guidance statement on requirements for entry into the postgraduate certificate programme for pharmacist prescribing.
On completion of the required qualification, the pharmacist will be eligible to apply for registration in the Pharmacist Prescriber scope of practice. Applications can be made online, which includes submitting a Practice Plan. Additional information relating to the content of the Practice Plan can be found here.
Once registered in the Pharmacist Prescriber scope of practice, pharmacists will be entitled to use RegPharmNZ(Prescriber) as a post-nominal.
Standards and Guidance for Pharmacist Prescribers
Standards and Guidance for Pharmacist Prescribers outlines professional and ethical obligations for Pharmacist Prescribers. The ethical guidelines in this document reference the Code of Ethics 2011. These guidelines apply and supplement expectations outlined in the updated Code of Ethics 2018. Standards and Guidance for Pharmacist Prescribers must be read in conjunction with the Code of Ethics 2018.
Pharmacist Prescribers are eligible to provide Level B, C and D medicine management services without the requirement of additional training or education. For further information please download the Pharmacist Prescribers Medicines Management Statement.
On-going registration requirements
Pharmacist Prescribers will, from time-to-time, amend or expand their defined area of practice or change the collaborative health team in which they work. To ensure that pharmacist prescribers continue to work in areas where they are competent to do so, Council will require a Practice Review to be conducted when this occurs. This is a reflective exercise against the competence standards and will identify the areas where further learning is required. Any changes to the practice plan and the practice review must be declared at the time of APC renewal.
Overseas-qualified pharmacist prescribers
Overseas-qualified pharmacist prescribers wishing to register in New Zealand should contact us via [email protected]
Return to Practice
The Return to Practice process applies to New Zealand-qualified pharmacist prescribers returning to practise after time away from their prescribing practise environment. It also applies to pharmacists who have qualified as prescribers, but who did not immediately register or begin practising in the prescriber scope of practice.
Pharmacist prescribers and pecuniary interests
The Licensing Authority, Medicines Control has sole jurisdiction to consent or not consent prescriber interest in a pharmacy under section 42C of the Medicines Act 1981. Under the provisions of section 42C authorised prescribers are able to have an interest in a pharmacy with the consent of the Licensing Authority.
The Licensing Authority has strategies and policies in place to implement section 42C of the Medicines Act as prescriber interest in a pharmacy is not completely disallowed. Pharmacist Prescribers are designated prescribers which puts them in the class of authorised prescribers. Therefore the provisions of section 42C of the Medicines Act would be applied to pharmacist prescribers holding a financial interest in a pharmacy/ies.
The Licensing Authority can impose conditions on the License to Operate a pharmacy where a prescriber interest exists. They can impose a condition which prevents the pharmacy from dispensing prescriptions issued by a prescriber holding an interest in the pharmacy. Such conditions are currently imposed on licenses where prescriber interest is found to exist.
Section 76A of the Act makes it an offence for any pharmacist or person associated with a pharmacy to give, offer, or agree to give, any money or other consideration as a commission on prescriptions to any authorised prescriber.