Norway to offer Tamiflu over the counter

Norway is allowing over-the-counter sales of flu medicines Tamiflu and Relenza in response to the rapid spread of the H1N1 virus, reports AP. The policy goes into effect on Nov. 5, and will last until the middle of 2010.

On Nov. 3 the new appointed Health Minister, Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen (former Defence Minister), said: “We are offering the drugs without prescription to make it easier for those who are sick to get the medicine, and to ease the work load for the doctors”.

The medicine will be available at drug stores after consultation with a qualified pharmacist. A user fee of NOK 50 plus consultation fee of NOK 20 will be charged, reports the Norway Post

In addition, the health authorities have made available masks free of charge.

Norway has ordered 9.4 million doses of swine flu vaccine — enough for two per Norwegian — but the manufacturer has not produced the vaccine quickly enough to meet demand.

Public health officials estimate more than 100,000 Norwegians have been infected with swine flu. Fifteen have died.

Source: Norway PostAP

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