Over-the-counter medicines

Updated 14 September 2016

Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are medicines that you can buy without a prescription.

All OTC medicines are sold at pharmacies. In addition, a selection of OTC medicines is available in shops authorised by the Danish Medicines Agency to sell OTC medicines.

When we evaluate whether an OTC medicine is suitable for sale outside pharmacies, we consider:

  • whether the medicine can be used by consumers without the advice given at pharmacies
  • the risk of misusing or using the medicine incorrectly.

OTC medicines can be bought in authorised shops

If you are over 15 years old, you can buy OTC medicines in dispensing groups HF, HX or HV outside pharmacies. And if you are over 18 years old, you can also buy OTC medicines in dispensing groups HX18 outside pharmacies.

HF

HF means that you can buy as many packages of the medicine you want.

HX

HX means that, outside pharmacies, you can only buy one package of each of the medicines which are listed in the Danish Medicines Agency's register of authorised medicines in dispensing group HX.

Note that if there are several medicines with the same active substances included in dispensing group HX, you can only buy one package of a medicine containing that active substance per day.

HX medicines are only available in small pack sizes outside pharmacies.

HX18

HX18 means the same as HX, but you must be over 18 years old to buy painkillers in this group.

HV

HV means that the medicine is for veterinary use (for animals).

List of OTC medicines

See the list of OTC medicines (Excel file, in Danish). The list is updated daily.

You can sort the list by:

  • Medicinal product
  • Pharmaceutical form
  • Strength
  • Dispensing group (HF, HX, HX18 and HV).

In a few cases, the list does not contain information about packages.

The outlet must offer a basic range of products

Outlets are not expected to offer all OTC medicines, but the Danish Medicines Agency does require outlets to offer a basic range of products. At a minimum, they must sell medicines from the following product groups:

  • disinfecting sore throat lozenges
  • nicotine chewing gum
  • chewing tablets for excess stomach acid
  • painkillers
  • tablets for motion sickness
  • expectorants (for cough).

However, this does not apply if the outlet has permission to sell smoking cessation products only.

Authorised distributors of OTC medicines

Authorised distributors of OTC medicines (retail) (Excel file, in Danish) (updated daily)

OTC medicines eligible for conditional reimbursement

OTC medicines eligible for conditional reimbursement (PDF file, in Danish) (updated on an ongoing basis)

Colour chart

Colour chart – Sale of OTC medicines with limited dispensing status (HX and HX18 medicines) (in Danish)