Pharmacy Guild Policy Paper, New Zealand

The problem

Pharmacists in New Zealand were at risk when District Health Boards (DHBs)— public health authorities in each region—looked at spending cuts which would result in lower dispensing fees. The DHBs wanted to reduce the cost of providing healthcare in New Zealand but this threatened financial viability of pharmacies.

How we helped

The Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand engaged Castalia to identify opportunities for pharmacists and DHBs to work together. To show how pharmacists could help DHBs reduce costs, we assessed opportunities for better utilization of their skills, and identified different models of compensation to realize those opportunities. This included taking advantage of pharmacists having the right to prescribe some medicines, and we outlined the framework and funding mechanism to reduce the burden on the health system from relying on doctors to deal with minor prescriptions. We looked at different types of non-dispensing services that could be provided, listed benefits of providing those services, and identified different ways pharmacy services could be funded. Finally, we provided an overview of the Heads of Agreement for an enhanced arrangement.


Our report helped members of the Guild debate different remuneration options and reach consensus on how pharmacists could be better utilized and remunerated in New Zealand. Pharmacist Prescribers who complete additional training are now allowed to prescribe medicines without the patient having to visit a doctor.

Our team

Alex Sundakov

Alex Sundakov

Executive Director

How can we help you?

How can we help you?