6th October 2016 notification in Community Pharmacy Services Implementation Update 6th October:

Exemption Certificates for Prescription Subsidy Cards no Longer Needed

Neither the Health Entitlement Cards Regulations 1993 nor the Health (Retention of Health Information) Regulations 1996 now require any particular type of administrative action nor prescribe a format for the information that must be held for the purposes of issuing a Prescription Subsidy Card.

Accordingly, the electronic platform and the information captured in pharmacy dispensing systems is appropriate for legal compliance; there is no longer a need for pharmacists to use the hard copy standard template to authorise exemptions and the consequential requirement to destroy those after 12 months.

The current Procedures Manual does not have this information included and when the Procedures Manual is next updated, it will be included.

followed by 

22nd Dec 2016 notification from On-line Helpdesk, Sector Services Wanganui

The Prescription Subsidy is going card-less 
From 1 February 2017 there will no longer be a requirement to provide a physical prescription subsidy card to patients.
With the electronic determination of a person's eligibility for co-payment exemption after 20 scripts have been dispensed - there is no longer a need to have hard copy Prescription Subsidy Cards.
Further communication for you and your patients will be sent out in the New Year

Normal Rx Processing

Toniq Dispensary keeps track of the number of dispensings that are present in a patient history in an eligible year. On the 20th dispensing it will prompt with the choices shown below. 

Most dispensary users will have trained themselves to respond to this prompt with a C. However now the changes in regulations, it is now more appropriate to select: L Make exempt, print label ONLY.

If more information in early 2017 confirms that no subsidy cards need to be given to customers,  the option to chose will change to D make exempt, don't print anything.


Rx Cycle Processing

When Rxs are cycled, exemption numbers are automatically allocated to any patients who go exempt mid cycle. Additionally the exemption certificates are printed as they go exempt, automatically. We will be changing the software so that certificates (and labels) are not printed automatically. 

Until then, the certificate printing can be suppressed by ‘pausing’ the printer driver used for certificates. Do this in Windows before running the cycle to generate prescriptions, then cancel the documents in the Windows print queue and unpause the printer.