A long list of ordinary medicines are or have for periods been unavailable in Iceland, according to the Iceland Review. The reason for this is pharmaceutical companies’ preference for bigger markets.
Thyroid medicines, remedies against hemoroids, allergy nasal spray, beta blockers and even ordinary antibiotics are or have recently been unavailable in Iceland.
It has proven difficult to work around the challenges of lacking medicine. In many cases, pharmacies are not permitted to substitute the patients’ products if they do not hold the originally prescribed medicine. The patient then has to go back to the doctor for a new prescription on another and available drug, which places extra strain on both doctors, clinics and the health care system in general.