What is the purpose of the NZULM?
The NZULM is New Zealand’s national medicines list for universal use across the health and disability sector.
The NZULM provides an up-to-date and trusted, one-stop-shop of core and commonly used information about medicines (and other products and devices where appropriate) for New Zealand.
The NZULM brings together medicines information from Medsafe, PHARMAC and the Pharmacy Guild into a single standardised product, utilising the “common medicines language” in the New Zealand Medicines Terminology (NZMT).
The NZULM is updated regularly, and is readily accessible via this website and participating practice software systems.
This diagram is an example of the points where the NZULM will be accessed and where the NZMT descriptions and codes will be stored or exchanged between parties:
Information about the NZULM in this page
What are the intended uses of the NZULM?
- avoid preventable prescribing, dispensing and administration errors which affect patient safety and quality of care;
- improve the efficiency of clinical and business processes;
- avoid duplication of effort in assembling and sharing medication lists and other information about medicines;
- improve the reliability of medicines related data for needed for clinical, administrative, governance and planning uses; and
- expand the range of reliable clinical decision support services available.
What information about medicines does the NZULM contain?
What information sources are used in the NZULM?
The NZULM uses the NZMT as a "common language" for describing and coding medicines.
These sources of information about medicines are brought together into a single standardised product – the NZULM.
What information can be found in the NZULM?
Medicines terminology (from the NZMT)
- Generic names and the associated brand names (including synonyms where applicable); NZMT codes; ingredients; form; strength; pack details; the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) classification assign by the World Health Organisation (WHO); The Pharmacode® identifier allocated to a medicine (if one has been allocated to the medicine) by the New Zealand Pharmacy Guild.
- The descriptions and codes used for the generic and brand names in the NZMT are based on SNOMED CT international standards for medicines terminology.
Regulatory information (from Medsafe)
- Sponsor; constituents (active ingredient(s)); packaging; legal classification and any restrictions imposed; therapeutic classification, together with links to approved datasheet and consumer medicine information (where available) for individual medicines.
Subsidy details (from PHARMAC)
- Pharmaceutical Schedule information where a medicine in question is subsidised, including any restrictions or other criteria affecting subsidised patient access to the medicine, product premiums (if any), guidelines for use, and PHARMAC’s ATC classification for individual medicines.
- NZULM is not the authoritative source of PHARMAC information; however it is intended to be a trusted source of Pharmaceutical Schedule information provided by PHARMAC to the NZULM. This means other parties can source Pharmaceutical Schedule information from the NZULM with confidence.
What information won't be found in the NZULM?
Clinical decision support to clinicians –
- The New Zealand Medicines Formulary (NZMF) is intended to provide this. The NZMF builds on the NZULM by adding information such as indications, contraindications, interactions, prescriber guidance, etc.
- Information on individual medicines from sources other than the NZMT, the Pharmaceutical Schedule from PHARMAC, Medsafe and the New Zealand Pharmacy Guild.
- The NZULM website is not a prescribing or dispensing tool.
What is the New Zealand Medicines Terminology?
The New Zealand Medicines Terminology (NZMT) is a master list of medicines (and other products and devices where appropriate) for New Zealand. A standardised approach is used to name and describe each medicine and covers:
- the trade (brand) and generic names of the medicine;
- the strength and form of the medicine;
- the pack size;
- the sponsor;
- unique NZMT identifiers for the generic and trade names of a medicine and, where the medicine has been allocated one, the Pharmacode® identifier;
- the WHO ATC (Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical) code for each medicine.
In addition to providing standardised descriptions for individual packs of a medicine (and other products and devices where appropriate) the NZMT also provides standardised concept descriptions associated with these packs (see the diagram below). Concept descriptions are essential for generic e-prescribing and for storing and transmitting clinical information which is not linked to a particular medicine brand. Concept descriptions can be used to describe either trade or generic concepts.
The NZMT complies with the SNOMED CT international standards for medicines terminology descriptions and coding, and uses the current editorial rules for the Australian Medicines Terminology created by NEHTA (the Australian National E-Health Transition Authority) in conjunction with SNOMED CT.
The NZMT is a stand-alone New Zealand medicines terminology and over time will be internationalised by adopting common international codes for listed medicines, where they exist.
The diagram below provides a simplified view of the NZMT data model.
**Panadol is a registered trade mark of the GlaxoSmithKline group of companies
The primary use of the NZMT is to provide a common language that is shared by people who prescribe, dispense or administer medicines across the health sector in New Zealand.
NZMT descriptions and identifiers allow information about medicines to be stored (e.g. in patient records), exchanged (e.g. in a prescription), and reported (e.g. in a claim) either electronically or in hard copy without risk of uncertainty, confusion, or ambiguity.
Also, NZMT descriptions and identifiers enable electronic systems providing medicine-related clinical decision support services to provide these services safely and reliably.
- Medicines and devices which are controlled under the Medicines Act 1981. This includes medicines supplied under sections 25 and 29 of this Act.
- Products and devices not controlled by the Medicines Act 1981 which are listed on the Pharmaceutical Schedule.
Standardised descriptive information on:
- medicines and devices which fall outside the control of the Medicines Act 1981; and
- products and devices falling outside the control of the Medicines Act 1981 which are not listed on the Pharmaceutical Schedule.
- Clinical information on NZMT listed medicines, products or devices.
- Pharmaceutical Schedule subsidy information on NZMT-listed medicines, products or devices.
- Information on the market status of NZMT-listed medicines, products or devices.
- Standardised descriptive information on all medicines or devices previously supplied in New Zealand but discontinued before 2006. (Some medicines in this group may be listed on the NZMT.)
How can the NZULM be accessed?
If you are a NZULM user, you will usually access NZULM information through your business or clinical software (e.g. your practice management system). You will see a list of medicines to choose from (e.g. when prescribing) and might not even be aware that you are accessing the NZULM.
You can also access NZULM information directly through this website.
Software vendors and other registered users of NZULM information will receive a monthly download of the latest files. This download provides all the information described in What information can be found in the NZULM, above.
The way the information is presented to end users of systems accessing NZULM information is determined by system vendors and might differ from the way it is provided on this website.