Are Epipens Funded in New Zealand

In New Zealand, the government partially funds EpiPens, auto-injectors containing epinephrine used in emergency situations like severe allergic reactions. This funding is available under the Pharmaceutical Schedule, ensuring partial coverage for these life-saving devices. The Pharmaceutical Schedule is a list of government-approved medicines and their subsidies. Individuals may also have access to additional support programs and community initiatives that assist with EpiPen costs, such as subsidies or payment assistance programs. This funding ensures that individuals at risk of severe allergic reactions can access this essential medication to manage their condition effectively.

Epinephrine Auto-Injectors in New Zealand

Epinephrine auto-injectors, commonly known as EpiPens, are life-saving devices used to treat severe allergic reactions. In New Zealand, the availability and funding of EpiPens are managed by Pharmac, a government agency responsible for providing access to essential medicines.

Eligibility for funded EpiPens is determined by specific criteria, including a diagnosis of anaphylaxis and a prescription from a medical professional. Patients who meet these criteria can receive up to two EpiPens funded by Pharmac every 12 months.

Funding and Cost

  • EpiPens are funded by Pharmac for eligible patients.
  • The cost of funded EpiPens varies depending on the brand and dosage.
    BrandDosage (mg)Cost (NZD)
    EpiPen0.3 mg$53.58
    Auvi-Q0.3 mg$53.58
    Jext0.3 mg$53.58
  • Non-funded EpiPens are available for purchase without a prescription.
  • The cost of non-funded EpiPens is typically higher than funded EpiPens.


Funded EpiPens are available through pharmacies that are part of the Community Pharmacy Scheme.

Non-funded EpiPens can be purchased from pharmacies or online retailers.

It is important to note that EpiPens are prescription-only medications and should only be used under the guidance of a medical professional.

Government Funding for Epinephrine Devices

In New Zealand, the government provides funding for epinephrine auto-injectors (EAIs), commonly known as EpiPens, through Pharmac, the government agency responsible for funding pharmaceuticals.

  • Pharmac funds the following EAIs:
    • EpiPen
    • EpiPen Jr
    • Jext
    • Anapen
    • Auvi-Q

These devices are funded for people who have a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to:

  • Insect stings or bites (e.g., bees, wasps, ants)
  • Certain foods (e.g., peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish)
  • Medications (e.g., penicillin, aspirin)
  • Latex

To be eligible for funding, patients must meet certain criteria, such as having a history of anaphylaxis and being prescribed an EAI by a doctor.

Funding Details

Pharmac provides funding for EAIs based on the following criteria:

  • Age: People under the age of 18 are eligible for two funded EAIs per year.
  • Adults: Adults are eligible for one funded EAI per year.
  • Replacement: EAIs can be replaced if they have been used or if they expire before the end of the funding period.

The cost of an EAI varies depending on the brand and dosage. However, the government subsidy significantly reduces the cost for patients.

Estimated Cost of EAIs
DeviceCost (Without Subsidy)Cost (With Subsidy)
EpiPen Jr$100$5.00

Patients who need more than the funded amount of EAIs may be able to access additional funding through their District Health Board.

Access to Epipens in New Zealand

Epipens are life-saving devices used to treat severe allergic reactions (known as anaphylaxis). In New Zealand, Epipens are funded by the government, making them accessible to those who need them.

Epipens are available on prescription from doctors or pharmacists. Once prescribed, they are available free of charge under New Zealand’s Pharmaceutical Schedule. This means that the cost of Epipens is covered by the government, regardless of a person’s income or financial situation.

  • Individuals entitled to free Epipens include:
    • New Zealand citizens and permanent residents
    • Temporary residents with a valid visa
    • Visitors to New Zealand for more than 3 months

To access an Epipen, individuals must meet certain eligibility criteria. These include having a history of anaphylaxis or a severe allergic reaction, being at risk of anaphylaxis, or being prescribed an Epipen by a doctor.

Epipens are an essential tool for managing severe allergic reactions. Thanks to the government’s funding program, Epipens are widely available and accessible to all who need them in New Zealand.

Pharmaceutical Subsidies for Epinephrine

Epinephrine auto-injectors, commonly known as EpiPens, are used to treat severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) by providing a quick and effective dose of epinephrine. In New Zealand, the government provides subsidies for these devices through the Pharmaceutical Management Agency (PHARMAC).

The subsidy is available for people with a prescription for an epinephrine auto-injector who meet certain criteria, including:

  • Anaphylaxis to a known allergen, such as food, insect stings, or latex
  • At risk of anaphylaxis from an unknown allergen
  • Need for multiple devices (e.g., for use at home, school, and sports)

Subsidies vary depending on the type of device and the individual’s circumstances. The subsidy covers a large portion of the cost of the device, making it more affordable for those who need it.


In addition to the subsidy, PHARMAC also provides funding for community-based anaphylaxis training programs. These programs help people with anaphylaxis recognize and manage their condition, including how to use an epinephrine auto-injector.

The provision of subsidized epinephrine auto-injectors and training programs in New Zealand ensures that people with anaphylaxis have access to the life-saving treatment they need, regardless of their financial circumstances.

Kia ora, folks! Thanks for sticking with me until the end. I know it’s a topic that can get a bit dry, but I hope I’ve managed to shed some light on the ins and outs of EpiPen funding in Aotearoa. Remember, if you have any further questions or need more info, feel free to give Healthline a call on 0800 611 116. And while you’re here, why not check out some of our other articles? We’ve got plenty more up our sleeves to keep you informed and entertained. Thanks again for reading, and catch ya later!