OTC Medicines

Over-the Counter medicines – also called OTC Medicines must be licensed in New Zealand.  There are 4 types of OTC Medicines:

1. Prescription medicines
2. Pharmacist Only medicines (also called Restricted medicines )
3. Pharmacy medicines
4. General Sale medicines

Prescription medicines

  • Prescriptions – prescribers include doctors, nurse prescribers, midwives, dentists, opticians
  • Not for sale!
  • Emergency supply – rare exceptions for special circumstances, only by pharmacist

Pharmacist Only medicines (Also called Restricted medicines)

  • Sold only through pharmacies
  • Customers can not self-select product
  • Pharmacist must discuss health problem with customer before a sale can be made
  • Requires a record of sale – (details must include the date, name & address of customer, name and quantity of medicine purchased and name of pharmacist involved in sale)

Pharmacy medicines

  • Can only be sold in licenced pharmacies
  • Often are larger pack sizes of products sold in supermarkets eg. Nurofen
  • Packs have consumer information and must have detailed product labels

General sale medicines

  • Available instores other than pharmacies, e.g. supermarkets
  • Packaging does not have to be labelled as General Sale medicine (unlike other classes)
  • Smaller pack sizes of medicines such as Nurofen are General Sales (12 & 24 tablets) while bigger pack sizes (48 & 96 tablets) are Pharmacy medicines