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Sale of medicines outside pharmacies

Updated 08 August 2017

In Denmark, shops outside the pharmacy sector can obtain authorisation to sell over-the-counter (OTC) medicines suitable for sale outside pharmacies.

The Danish Medicines Agency decides whether a medicine can be sold at these shops. Usually, the shops outside the pharmacy sector do not employ professional pharmacy staff.

Fee

An application fee and an annual fee are charged for an authorisation to distribute OTC medicines and veterinary medicines. 

Read more about fees

Sale of OTC medicines online

When you apply for an authorisation to sell OTC medicines, you can add a website address so that you can sell OTC medicines online.

If you are selling OTC medicines online, you must inform us electronically about the following:

  • The distributor’s name
  • The company's CVR number
  • The web address
  • The date when online sale started

In the application form, you state that you have completed the relevant e-learning modules.

As an online retailer, you must make sure that the following appears from your website:

  • The entire basic range of OTCs must be represented
  • The OTC medicines must be presented in product groups separated from other products

You must make sure that:

  • OTC medicines are not sold to persons under 15 years of age
  • Pain-relieving OTC medicines (for oral administration) are not sold to persons under 18 years of age
  • The conditions for selling HX and HX18 medicines are met (does not apply to veterinary medicines)
  • Returned OTC medicines are destroyed
  • The Danish advertising rules are complied with, see The Danish Medicines Act and the Danish executive order on advertising for medicinal products (in Danish).

Companies authorised to sell OTC medicines online may be inspected by the Danish Medicines Agency. Inspections are carried out in accordance with current rules in this field.

Smoking cessation products

On 15 October 2006, it became possible for shops to obtain a distributor's authorisation exclusively covering smoking cessation products. Shops holding such an authorisation do not have to keep the entire basic range of OTCs.

Basic range of OTCs

The shops must, at the minimum, keep a basic range of OTCs defined by the Danish Medicines Agency. The basic range of OTCs includes painkillers, cough suppressants and lozenges for a sore throat.

Number of authorised shops

About 3,000 shops/companies are authorised to sell OTC products for humans. Many of them are also authorised to sell OTC medicines for animals (veterinary medicines).

About 300 shops are only authorised to sell veterinary medicines.

Shops selling medicines online

Many shops sell medicines online:

List of Danish shops selling medicines online

The list is updated regularly.

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