Pharmacies in Norway provide some health-care services. Since 2016 patients have received guidance on their inhalation technique.
In 2018 Norwegian pharmacies started up "New Medicine Service" for heart patients. In 2020 pharmacists got the right to prescribe influenza vaccines, and in 2022 Norwegian pharmacists got a temporarily right to prescribe vaccines against covid-19.
New Medicine Service
New Medicine Service «Medisinstart» is a new pharmacy service intended for patients with cardiovascular diseases starting up with a new medicine. The service consists of two follow-up consultations with a pharmacist. The first at 1-2 weeks and the second at 3-5 weeks after start of the new medicine.
By the end of 2022, almost 27,000 consultations had been made. The average age of the customers who receive this service is 65 years. Most of the conversations was about the medicines Atorvastatin, Amlodipine, Candesartan or Metoprolol.
In 2022 there was a pilot project regarding patients with diabetes type 2. The pharmacies had a total of 1,656 conversations with patients with diabetes. The experiences so far have been very good, and the conversations revealed that many of the patients have an unmet need for information.
Checking inhaler technique
The patient shows his inhalation technique and receives advice if errors or a need for changes in the inhalation technique are discovered. The purpose of the service is to secure effect of the medicine. This service was officially launched in 2016 by the Minister of Health.
In 2022, there were 81,180 inhalation guides in pharmacies. The average age of customers who receive an inhalation guide is 51 years. More than half of the patients need help to correct their inhalation technique. Since 2016, 422,169 inhaler users have received guidance on correct use.
Vaccination against seasonal flu
Vaccination against seasonal flu in pharmacies has developed from a pilot project in 2017 to a national service in 2020. Despite the authorities' decision to prioritize flu vaccines to risk groups, the interest in taking the flu vaccine in pharmacies has been record high.
In 2022, pharmacies have administered almost 220,000 influenza vaccines. Around 95 per cent of the customers come directly to the pharmacy without a prescription. Many people choose the pharmacy because of accessibility and long opening hours.
Vaccination against covid-19
In 2022, Norwegian pharmacies administered 150,000 vaccines against covid-19. In total, 88 municipalities have made agreements with pharmacies to vaccinate. There are slightly more women than men who get vaccinated in pharmacies, and most are between 65 and 80 years.