New regulations have been introduced to provide the authorities with the tools required to reduce the risk of shortage of medicines and, if necessary, to ensure a fair distribution of medicines.

Medicine rationing

The authorities have introduced rationing of a number of vital medicines. This has been carried out in order to ensure fair distribution of medicines and to prevent stockpiling. You will still have access to the medicines you need but the amount will cover a shorter period of time than normal, so that everyone has access to the medicines they need.

  • Non-prescription medicines: You will only be allowed to purchase one package at a time.
  • Prescription medicines: You will be allowed to take out medicines to cover no more than three-month consumption at a time. There are more stringent regulations covering specific types of medicines.

See more information in Norwegian.

Safe use of medicines

Talk to a doctor about correct use of medicines if you have contracted covid-19 or are afraid of contracting it. At the time of writing, there are no approved medicines for use to treat covid-19. Any websites offering medicines for covid-19 are fraudulent.

  • Do not take any medicines for treatment of covid-19 without talking with a doctor first.
  • Do not change use of medicines for other illnesses without talking with a doctor first.

Only purchase medicines from Norwegian pharmacies or online pharmacies that have been approved by the authorities. For a list of approved online pharmacies in Norway, click here.

Development of medicines and vaccines against covid-19

There are currently no approved vaccines or treatment for the virus. The global medicine authorities are all in close dialogue with researchers and pharmaceutical companies that want to develop medicines, including vaccines, for covid-19. This also applies to the European Medicines Agency (EMA), with which Norway is affiliated. See more information about development of medicines and vaccines.

Duty to report and export prohibition

Wholesalers must issue a report to the Norwegian Medicines Agency before they are permitted to export medicines out of Norway. The Norwegian Medicines Agency requires three days to make a decision on whether to approve export of medicines.

We are authorised to prohibit parallel export of medicines in situations where there is reason to believe that this will result in a lack of access to medicines in Norway. See more information in Norwegian.

Emergency stocks of medicines

The health authorities have signed agreements with the three largest pharmaceutical wholesalers regarding extension of their stocks, and have requested that they purchase medicines that are critical for the public health service. See more information in Norwegian.

Important medicines required to support patients being treated for covid-19

The Norwegian Medicines Agency, in cooperation with clinical experts, has prepared a list of medicines that may be required to treat covid-19 patients, and which we expect to be in increased demand. See more information in Norwegian.

Prescribing medicines for animals during the pandemic

During the pandemic, there is an extra high risk of lack of important medicines for humans. If a veterinarian has prescribed/ordered important medicines for humans, the Norwegian Medicines Agency is authorised to request or order that the pharmacy deliver a corresponding, marketed veterinarian medicine, where this exists. We will exercise this authority when necessary to reserve the medicines in question for human use.

Medical devices

Only tests, face masks and other medical devices with the CE mark are approved for safe use. A number of tests may not be used by persons without health-related qualifications. Tests that can detect covid-19 or other illnesses shall always be marked with information about who is authorised to use the device.

The Norwegian Medicines Agency will give priority to applications for clinical trials that have a direct impact on the pandemic. Nonetheless, we expect reports to satisfy the normal requirements. Please send all enquiries to meddev-no@noma.no.

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