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Pharmacies in Norway lack important medications: report

Published : 07 Jan 2019, 21:06

  DF-Xinhua Report
DF File Photo.

The lack of medications in Norway's pharmacies is greater than ever and may take its toll on patients' treatment, local media reported Monday.

This includes blood pressure medicines, blood thinners as well as medicines for slow metabolism, which hundreds of thousands of Norwegians depend on, according to newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad.

The lack of medications leads to higher uncertainty among patients, said Steinar Madsen, medical director at the Norwegian Medicines Agency.

"In more severe cases, I have experienced that patients could not be treated for cancer because the medications could not be obtained," he said.

According to Madsen, the causes of medications shortage probably lie in the decision of large pharmaceutical companies to sell the production rights for the drugs they are no longer interested in to smaller companies whose delivery is more uncertain.

"I am very worried and disappointed with the pharmaceutical industry, which has no better control over the production of drugs. Making drugs involves obligations to the patients," Madsen was quoted as saying.

In 2016, 191 cases of drug shortages were reported in Norway. In 2017, there were 358 cases and last year 684 cases. Madsen feared that 2019 may be even worse, said the report.