Heat wave: Retailers may refrain from selling non-prescription drugs

31 July 2018

In the current weeks-long heatwave, many supermarkets and other retailers have reported to the Danish Medicines Agency that they are having difficulty maintaining a cool enough temperature for proper storage of medicines. They therefore asked if they might refrain from selling non-prescription drugs for a period of time.

Retailers are required to stock a basic selection of medicines, but due to the unusually long and hot summer, the Danish Medicines Agency has decided not to enforce the requirement until 1 September 2018. If the heatwave continues, this period may be extended.

This means that a retailer may choose not to sell non-prescription drugs without being in non-compliance or receiving a fine. Non-compliance is an annotation of infringement of the regulations which the retailer must follow.

The retailer should post a sign informing customers that non-prescription drugs will not be sold for a period of time due to the heatwave.

If drugs are stored at temperatures that are higher than the permitted maximum, they are no longer saleable and must be destroyed.

No cause for concern for medicines at home

There is generally no reason for ordinary people to be concerned about the heat damaging their medicines at home. However, it is recommended that medicines be stored in the coolest room in the house, unless otherwise indicated on the package insert. Do not store medicines in the refrigerator unless this is indicated on the package insert as medicines can also be damaged by cold.

Medicines can usually be stored at higher temperatures over shorter periods of time without being damaged. Check the package insert for your medicine if you are uncertain – you can find it online at www.indlaegsseddel.dk.