Rotorua's newest pharmacy will come without standard $5 prescription charges.
Countdown Fenton St's renovations include the construction of a new pharmacy, which will process prescriptions from doctors and public hospitals free seven days a week, 9am to 8pm.
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Countdown already has 30 pharmacies offering prescriptions without charges nationwide.
The refurbishments at the Fenton St store, expected to be completed in May, also includes a new deli and bakery section.
Countdown's head pharmacist Jeremy Armes told the Daily Post the free scripts were part of the supermarket chain's "commitment to making healthcare more affordable for Kiwis".
"Feedback from customers who have benefited from this service in other parts of the country has been overwhelmingly positive."
He said the pharmacies offered "a full range of pharmacy-only medicines, access to a trained pharmacist for longer hours than traditional pharmacies, seven-day service and the added convenience of being able to drop-off your prescription before you
start your grocery shop, and then pick it up before you leave the store".
The Lakes District Health Board serves 110,410 people and its Community Pharmacy Strategic Plan 2018-2025 said many residents "struggle with the cost of doctors visits, the cost of medicines and transport to reach a health centre making it very difficult, both for an individual and their families who need to care for them or to help them reach and pay for treatment".
As of May last year, the plan said there were 13 pharmacies in Rotorua, six in Taupō and one in Tūrangi.
"Some of the outlying areas such as Whakamaru, Reporoa, Mangakino, Whakapapa have to travel around 50km to reach a pharmacy from Monday to Saturday and up to as much as 100km on a Sunday or public holiday."
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In most New Zealand pharmacies, consumers make a small contribution to the cost of the Government-subsidised medicines they receive when they pay a prescription charge, normally $5.
This standard charge did not apply to children aged 13 and under and it was the same amount for medicines that were not fully funded by Pharmac.
Pharmacies may charge for extra services such as medicines delivery or packaging.
Once patients and their families had collected 20 new prescription items in a year, they could get a prescription subsidy, which meant they did not have to pay any more prescription charges until February 1 the following year.
Community Services Cards and High Use Health Cards could also reduce the cost of prescriptions from providers without a Ministry, District Health Board or Primary Health Organisation contract.
Rotorua Area Primary Health Services could not be reach for comment on the new pharmacy.