Changes to prescribing regulations

Cabinet has approved amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 1977 to ensure more appropriate restrictions on the prescribing limits of controlled drugs, such as opioids. These will come into effect on 5 October 2023.

The change reduces the maximum limit for all opioid prescriptions from three months to one month and is the result of a recent review by Manatū Hauora on safe access to opioids.

Cabinet has also decided to make several changes to controlled drug prescribing regulations that will simplify prescribing limits and address some inconsistencies in the current regulations.

Note: Prescribing limits within the regulations are maximum amounts allowed by law, they are not indicative of a recommended length of prescription for specific drugs. For dentists, maximum period of supply is no greater than a quantity sufficient for use for a period of 7 days.

Click here to learn more on the Manatū Hauora, Ministry of Health website. You can also find FAQs on the changes here.