Revised: 26 July 2019


Medicines Classification Committee

Terms of reference

The Medicines Classification Committee (MCC) is a ministerial advisory committee, established under section 8 of the Medicines Act 1981, whose terms of reference are to make recommendations to the Minister of Health regarding the classification of medicines as prescription medicines, restricted medicines or pharmacy-only medicines. The MCC will also consider and report to the Minister on any matter concerning the classification of medicines and access to medicines by health professionals and the public.


The Medicines Classification Committee (MCC) meets twice a year, usually in April and October. Secretarial support is provided by Medsafe.


The Medicines Classification Committee (MCC) comprises two nominees from each of the New Zealand Medical Association and the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand and two members of the Ministry of Health, one of whom is to be appointed as chairperson. Nominees are appointed for a three-year term and may be re-appointed for one further term of office. Ministry members retain their appointments ‘during the pleasure of the Minister’.

While members of the MCC are nominees of professional bodies, they are appointed to the MCC as independent experts in clinical practice.

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