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Restrictions on the sale of medicinal products containing paracetamol or dexamethasone to ensure their availability and sufficiency

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 18.8.2020 12.34
Press release 185/2020

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has decided to temporarily restrict the sale and release for consumption of medicinal products containing paracetamol or dexamethasone. The restrictions will enter into force on 18 August 2020 and will remain in force until 15 January 2021.

Paracetamol is a widely used pain and fever medicine. Dexamethasone is used to reduce inflammation, for example. 

Medicinal products containing paracetamol or dexamethasone that require a prescription may be sold or released for consumption at a single purchase up to a quantity that is equivalent to consumption of a maximum of three months. 

In the case of self-medication products containing paracetamol, a single purchase must not exceed the medicine quantity of the largest approved self-medication package. Dexamethasone is a prescription-only medicine.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the availability of medicinal products has generally remained at a good level in Finland. The decisions on restrictions now made aim to secure the availability of these medicinal products and to prepare for a possible increase in the global demand for paracetamol and dexamethasone as the pandemic continues. These restrictive measures help ensure the equal availability and sufficiency of medicines throughout Finland.

Due to the coronavirus epidemic, amendments have been made to the Medicines Act. The amendments allow the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health temporarily restrict or target the sale of medicinal products in order to ensure the availability and sufficiency of medicines. The amendments entered into force on 13 July 2020.

Inquiries: 

Noora Oinonen, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 163 164, [email protected]
Ulla Närhi, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 619, [email protected]