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2. april 2020

The pharmacies offer almost the same service as normal 

Most pharmacies in Norway have managed to stay open in the fight against COVID-19. After a few challenging weeks, the situation now seems to be normalizing. 

This is as a result of the pharmacies having implemented new control measures and routines, based on cooperation and agreement from The Norwegian Pharmacy Association’s specialist committee, where representatives from the large member groups are represented. 

The pharmacies are doing what they can to stay open. Employees can be lent out between pharmacies, pharmacy students are hired as substitutes, and some pharmacies have reduced opening hours due to lower staffing. But the offer to pharmacy customers is almost as usual.  

It is as well implemented measures to protect the 8,000 pharmacy employees who work in the more than 950 pharmacies. 

Protection in the pharmacies 
The feedback from the pharmacies is that the customer influx is largely back to normal, but the pharmacies have introduced restrictions on the number of customers that can be in the pharmacies at the same time, usually not more than five customers at the time.  

Many pharmacies have installed protecting glass at the counter, dividing the customer and the staff.  

Persons who are in quarantine or isolation must have someone else to visit the pharmacy on their behalf, or order medicines online when possible. 

Regulation of medicines in pharmacies 
The health authorities have introduced several measures to ensure the fair distribution of medicines and to avoid the hoarding of medicines in pharmacies. Everyone still gets the medicine they need, but for a limited period of time so that it is enough for everyone. A small number of medicines are rationed, due to expected shortage.   

Pharmacies that are temporarily closed 
The Norwegian Pharmacy Association, in collaboration with the pharmacy owners, have made a list of pharmacies that are temporarily closed due to the difficult staffing situation as a result of the coronavirus. At the moment less than one percent of the pharmacies are closed due to the pandemic.  

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