As of New Year's 2018, some drugs that today are subject to prescription will become prescription free at the pharmacy. Regulatory changes leave for instance the cholesterol lowering drug simvastatin, triptans against migraines and high dosages of ibuprofen, prescription free, but subject to pharmacist's control. The pharmacist control comprises extended guidance on how to use the drugs and after having checked off different check-lists etc. This contrary to the description free drugs from the pharmacies' shelf-selection, where guidance from pharmacists are subject to request.
The new category of prescription free drugs, shall be placed behind the pharmacy counter and will be categorized as pharmaceuticals subject to risk-minimisation. The categorisation will appear on the MA issued by the Norwegian Medicines Agency.
The easier access to drugs is meant to empower patients to make informed choices in prevention, self-diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disability. At the same time health personnel's capacity will be released by ensuring good guidance on use through the pharmacies.
The new regimen is founded in amendments to the Pharmacy Regulations and Regulations on the Procurement and Delivery from Pharmacies.