Revised: 17 May 2019

Medicines

Classification Database

Database updated: 12 November 2019


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This database can be used to check the classification of medicines (including general sale medicines and controlled drugs used as medicines). Schedule 1 of the Medicines Regulations 1984 contains a list of active ingredients grouped under their respected classifications. Active ingredients are generally listed by their International Non-Proprietary Name (INN).

There are also group entries which may capture some active ingredients that have not been specified in Schedule 1. For example, the group entry for ‘vaccines’ will capture any vaccine products that may contain any New Biological Entities that have not yet been classified.

If a medicine has more than one active ingredient, the active ingredient with the most restrictive classification determines the classification of the medicine.

When checking the classification, please refer to the latest amendment of the Medicines Regulations 1984 and any subsequent notices published in the New Zealand Gazette. Alternatively you can search the classification of an active ingredient using this Medsafe database. The information in this database has been compiled from entries in Schedule 1 of the Medicines Regulations 1984, the Schedules to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 and the Medsafe record of some general sales medicines. Refer to these legislative documents for an accurate record.

It is recommended that you search this database using the name you know the ingredient by, and also by any synonyms.

Note, every reference to a medicine in Schedule 1 to the Medicines Regulations 1984 applies whether the medicine is synthetic in origin or is from biological or mineral sources.

Unless specific reference is made otherwise, every reference applies also to medicines that are -

  • preparations and admixtures containing any proportion of any substance listed in Schedule 1:
  • salts and esters of any substance listed in Schedule 1:
  • preparations or extracts of biological materials listed in Schedule 1:
  • salts or oxides of elements listed in Schedule 1.

Unless specific reference is made otherwise, every reference to a medicine in 1 Schedule applies -

  • if the medicine is an injection or eye preparation, to any concentration of the medicine; and
  • if the medicine is not an injection or eye preparation, only if the concentration of the medicine is greater than 10 milligrams per litre or per kilogram.

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