Sold more bottles in one week than they do in two years

Since this summer, Norwegian pharmacies have been out of the cough suppressant and prescription drugs Cosylan and Solvipect Comp, due to production problems and delayed delivery.

With autumn and peak season for colds, many people are in demand for these products.

It was then that a small pharmaceutical factory on Ås in Follo found out that they had to replace all the cloths.

RECORD SALES: NAF strong cough syrup has been around for 60 years, but has never sold as well as it does now.

RECORD SALES: NAF strong cough syrup has been around for 60 years, but has never sold as well as it does now.

– We threw ourselves around and produced more than we usually do, says general manager Ørjan Leiknes Apeland at Å’s production lab to TV 2.

Same raw material

For many years they have produced a strong cough syrup, which contains many of the same raw materials as in Cosylan and Solvipect Comp.

This cough syrup is a NAF preparation to which the Apotekerforeningen owns the rights.

It is usually available in all the country’s pharmacies, but there is usually not much fuss about it – as most people would rather have the far more popular Cosylan and Solvipect Comp.

Record sales

The producers at Ås were therefore completely taken aback when they recently saw the sales figures.

– In just one week, 5,600 bottles of this cough syrup were sold. It is the same that is usually sold over two years, says communications manager Jostein Soldal at the Pharmacists’ Association to TV 2.

GONE: For several months, pharmacies have been scrambling for the cough suppressant drug Cosylan.  Photo: Ingvill Drægni / TV 2

GONE: For several months, pharmacies have been scrambling for the cough suppressant drug Cosylan. Photo: Ingvill Drægni / TV 2

Apeland at the production lab at ÅS thinks it was special that the sales figures skyrocketed, but he sees the logic when there is a complete lack of a similar product.

– It is natural that there will be a demand shock in the market, says Apeland.

He only wished that the Norwegian Medicines Agency had notified them about the cough syrup shortage a little earlier.

– If we had been notified by the Norwegian Medicines Agency a little earlier about this crisis, we could have produced twice as much. But now we can’t get hold of the raw materials either, says the production manager.

– There will be more drug crises

This is not the first time Å’s production lab has had to increase production due to a lack of medicines. Both during the corona pandemic and during the scabies epidemic a few years ago, Apeland and his colleagues had to step in.

– This is not the last time we will have a pharmaceutical crisis. It shows how important it is that we keep parts of pharmaceutical production in the country, he says.

Shortage through the year

The Norwegian Medicines Agency now confirms, after several months where the cough syrup shelves have been scraped, that small bottles of Cosylan are on their way out to the pharmacies again.

– The volume of Cosylan that is now on its way to the pharmacies is sufficient to cover the need in the short term, says senior physician Ingrid Aas at the Norwegian Medicines Agency.

PROSECTION PROBLEMS: Senior doctor Ingrid Aas in the Norwegian Medicines Agency says that the problems with the production of cough syrup must now be resolved.  Photo: Caroline Roka

PROSECTION PROBLEMS: Senior doctor Ingrid Aas in the Norwegian Medicines Agency says that the problems with the production of cough syrup must now be resolved. Photo: Caroline Roka

When it comes to Solvipect comp, people have to be patient.

– We have now received word from the company that the shortage of Solvipect comp, in all sizes, is expected to last the rest of the year, says Aas.

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