Norwegian pharmacies lacking important medicines

Pharmacist at work DrugsPharmacist at work

The lack of medicine in Norway is greater than ever, and the pharmacies are empty of important medicines.

This could cause patients to not get the treatment they need.

According to Stavanger Aftenblad newspaper, it is primarily medicines that are used by large patient groups that are lacking, such as blood pressure medicines, blood-thinning medicines, and medicines for low metabolism. Hundreds of thousands of Norwegians depend on these.

‘’For the patients, this leads to uncertainty. In more severe cases, I have experienced that patients could not be treated for cancer because the medication was not available’’ said Steinar Madsen, head of the Norwegian Medicines Agency.

He believes the deficiency has many causes, but one of the most important is that the large pharmaceutical companies sell the production rights to the drugs they are no longer interested in to smaller companies with greater delivery
uncertainty. The deficiencies largely affect older and well-established medicines.

“I am very worried by, and disappointed with the
pharmaceutical industry, which has no better control over the production of drugs. Making drugs involves obligations to the patients” said Madsen.

In 2016, 191 cases of drug deficiency were reported in Norway, in 2017, 358 cases, and in 2018 a total of 684 cases. Madsen fears that 2019 may be even worse.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today