Pharmacy is an essential part of the healthcare system in New Zealand. Over 50 million prescriptions for medicines are dispensed each year in New Zealand. In addition, many medicines for minor ailments are sold over-the-counter.

Timaru Hospital Pharmacy

Timaru Hospital Pharmacy department provides a supply, dispensing, and clinical pharmacy service for hospital inpatients, wards and departments.  The pharmacy team work with health professionals to identify and resolve any issues with medication.

Clinical Pharmacy Services

Clinical Pharmacy is about managing a patient’s medication therapy in order to maximise effective treatment outcomes and minimise adverse effects.  Pharmacists carry out the following roles to ensure that this occurs:

  • Advising on drug selection, dose, route and treatment duration
  • Monitoring for drug interactions and incompatibilities between prescribed and non prescribed medicines e.g. herbal medicines
  • Overseeing therapeutic drug monitoring for selected agents
  • Advising on patient adherence (issues on how well patients take their medicines)
  • Reporting of any suspected adverse drug reactions
  • Advising on how a patient’s medical condition/s may affect response to a specific drug therapy. 
Medicines Information

Clinical Pharmacists answer queries on medicines therapy for medical, nursing and allied health professionals as well as the general public.  Pharmacists also participate in the provision of training programmes for other health professionals and the general public.


The dispensary provides dispensed medicines to hospital inpatients from requests received by MedChart (electronic prescribing and administration system).  Charts are screened for appropriate prescribing, legality and supply issues, keyed through the Pharmacy computer system, packed, labelled, checked and distributed to the wards.

A supply system operates on the wards and clinical areas ensuring that the frequently used medicines are supplied by the pharmacy according to an imprest list.  Imprests are replenished at regular intervals by pharmacy technicians.

A limited range of prescriptions are dispensed for outpatients where these are not subsidised through community pharmacies (community funded medicines may be dispensed from local community pharmacies).  The dispensary also supplies medication for patients on the Home IV Antibiotic service.