Get free prescriptions at your local Unichem Pharmacy
Prescriptions are now free at your local Unichem Pharmacy. From 1st July 2023, the Government has scrapped its $5 co-payment charge for prescriptions from approved providers.
Get your fully funded medicines free, alongside free professional health care and advice from your local Unichem.
Free care + advice
Your community pharmacy offers so much more than prescriptions.
Unichem Pharmacies proudly offer free professional health, wellness and beauty care and advice.
Pop in and talk to your local Unichem Pharmacist about managing health conditions, getting the most out of your medicine and finding the right products for you.
Your local pharmacy
With a network of more than 250 pharmacies throughout New Zealand, you’ll find the professional health, beauty and wellness care and advice you need.
We stock high-quality natural health products, over-the-counter medication and beauty essentials. We also offer a range of healthcare services, including:
Coeliac disease testing
Blood pressure checks
Bowel health screening
How free prescriptions work
Want to know more about how free prescriptions work? Read our handy FAQs below and feel free to talk to your pharmacist if you have any questions that aren’t answered here.
Why is the $5 co-payment being removed?
The Government believes it will help more Kiwis. Health Minister Ayesha Verrall says "removing the $5 charge will make it easier and cheaper for New Zealanders to access the medicines they need, having a meaningful impact for many households."
It could also reduce the pressure on hospitals and other health services.
Which prescriptions are free?
Previously, there was a $5 prescription charge (a standard patient co-payment) from the Government for many common medications and prescriptions. From 1st July 2023, the Government scrapped the $5 co-payment.
Prescriptions for children aged 13 years old or younger, or for patients with a High Usage Card were free before 1st July and will remain free. Repeats and most controlled drug scripts also have no charge.
Which prescriptions do I need to pay for?
Some prescriptions, which aren’t publicly funded or covered by the scheme, still incur prescription charges.
Prescriptions from specialists and non-funded medicines still have the $15 co-payment charge; however, if you and your family need more than 20 of these prescription items in a year, you’ll qualify for the Prescription Subsidy Scheme.
Some medications and extra services (like blister packaging) incur a charge too. If you’re not sure, ask your Unichem Pharmacist. They’re here to help you.
What is the Prescription Subsidy Scheme?
The Prescription Subsidy Scheme is for non-funded medicines that are subject to the NZ Health System’s (Manatu Hauora) $15 co-payment charge.
Under the scheme, once you and your family (your spouse and any dependent children aged 14 to 18 years old) have received 20 of these prescriptions in a year, you’ll get a Prescription Subsidy Card, and you won’t need to pay for any more until 1 February the following year.
Don’t forget to let your pharmacist know the names of everyone in your family, so we can keep track of how many items you’ve paid for – and help ensure you don’t pay for any scripts you don’t need to.
Does my free prescription qualify for Living Rewards points?
Yes, you'll enjoy 1 Living Reward point for every prescription item*. Terms and conditions apply.
Additionally, anything you buy alongside your free prescription may be eligible, which means you’ll enjoy one point for every $1 you spend with Living Rewards !
More ways to save money with Unichem Pharmacies
Get rewards when you shop at Unichem. Earn one point for every $1 you spend on retail purchases and one point for every paid prescription item. When you reach 150 points, you’ll get a $10 voucher to spend in-store.
Free care + advice
Get free care and advice from your local Unichem health professional. Your local pharmacist is available to discuss health conditions and medicines, provide advice on products and more.
Ready to find your local Unichem?
Whether you need a prescription, or you’d like to pop in for some free care and advice, you can find your local Unichem easily online.
Free Prescriptions Terms & Conditions:
1. Charges relating to partially funded or unfunded medicine prescriptions may apply.
2. Prescription co-payments remain for prescriptions from unapproved prescribers (e.g., private specialists and private dentists)
3. Living Rewards Points:
One Living Rewards point will be allocated per prescription item on the initial prescription only.
Living Rewards points are not available on repeat prescriptions.
To earn points members must either present their Living Rewards card or provide an email address or mobile number at time of purchase for points to be allocated to their membership profile