Danish News Round-Up: Acute medicine shortage at nation's pharmacies - The Post

Danish News Round-Up: Acute medicine shortage at nation’s pharmacies

Meanwhile, empathy is pretty low at some of Copenhagen’s biggest apartment owners who are milking the system for profit. If only there was something the government could do …

This is about all they’ve got right now (pxhere.com)
October 31st, 2019 6:34 pm| by Soma Biró

Some 1,300 types of medicine have sold out in Danish pharmacies, leaving many without the necessary medication.

Melatonin, for those suffering from insomnia, some ADHD medication, and ointments to treat hemorrhoids are among the missing items.

For many of these illnesses, doctors can prescribe other, available medication. However, 25 of the missing medicines do not have an alternative.

A shortage of certain medicinal supplies is an increasingly large issue in Denmark and, as a result, Lægemiddelstyrelsen recently held a conference for ministers, organisations and the industry with the aim of finding some solutions.

“We have not had any patients who suffered long-lasting and critical lack of medication that resulted in health problems,” explained Lægemiddelstyrelsen head Thomas Senderovitz to DR.

Not restricted to Denmark
Norway is also trying to mount such obstacles. Its supply of medication is at a ten-year low.

One reason for Denmark’s medication shortage is that the manufacturing of medication is carried out by an increasingly small number of companies – typically located in China or India.

If a company runs into problems that halt its production, a large part of the world can suddenly find itself lacking in supplies.

The low price of drugs in Denmark serve as another explanation. Some manufacturers simply won’t sell to Denmark for a given period of time.

Housing minister to change the law after CPH rental prices explode 
A paragraph in the Danish Housing Regulations Act allows landlords to raise rent if they spend 250,000 kroner on renovations. This has been used by firms such as Blackstone to make a profit. Its modus operandi is to purchase a cheap apartment, invest in its renovation, and raise rental prices significantly. Kaare Dybvad, the minister for building and housing, plans to change the current law, and he said: “We need to find a solution as it is an overly lucrative business for foreign equity funds to buy Danish rental properties, and then dramatically increase the rent.” Blackstone’s response was that it only owns 0.5 percent of Copenhagen’s rentals market and that its focus is actually on apartments that have previously been renovated. If Denmark changed the crucial paragraph in its Housing Regulation Act, the value of Blackstone’s investment would decrease by 47 percent and average rent increases would be halved. According to DR, rent prices have exploded by an astonishing 400 percent in some cases in which Blackstone has acquired apartments. Blackstone plans to continue its ventures in the Danish capital, building on its current investment of half a billion kroner.

Man sentenced for threatening the queen
A Muslim man has been sentenced to 10 days in prison for threatening to behead the queen of Denmark and the entire royal family, as well as threatening Swedish king and Rasmus Paludan, the leader of the far-right party Stram Kurs. Scared that the man’s frequent use of cannabis made him psychotic, his wife reported him to the police after he posted his threats on Facebook.   

Denmark to save on aircraft purchase
Denmark will be able to save some money on its new purchase of combat aircraft, as the price of the first seven of the new batch of 27 F-35 combat planes falls by 12.8 percent. Arms manufacturing company Lockheed Martin recently negotiated a price reduction with the US Department of Defense. According to Lockheed Martin, the price reduction comes as a result of some smart acquisitions and a generally more effective way of producing weapons. However, according to the minister of defence, Trine Bramsen, overall spending has not been significantly reduced as there have also been expenses higher than expected. One example is the necessary relocation of the facility, which will accommodate the new aircraft at Flyvestation Skrydstrup from 2023. 

Ministers’ salaries might increase by 5 percent
The government’s new budget proposal wants to raise ministers’ wages. Ministerial salaries were lowered by 5 percent in 2010 as a part of measures to lift the country out of the financial crisis. This initiative will expire in 2020 and, as it has not been renewed, ministers’ pay will inevitably increase. For PM Mette Frederiksen, this would mean an increase of about 78,000 kroner annually. Ministerial wages will account for 16.5 million kroner (compared to 16.3 million last year) of the nation’s overall expenditure, if the proposal goes through.  

New traffic records on Øresundsbroen
Two new traffic records were broken over the summer on Øresundsbroen. This led to a higher operating profit for the first nine months of 2019 compared to the same period last year. Freight and bus traffic increased, while the amount of cars traversing the bridge declined—by 0.8 percent, to be exact. The operating profit of Øresundsbroen is up 16 million kroner compared to last year. On July 20, an all-time high of 32,100 vehicles crossed the bridge, while 857,500 crossed it in total over the month, which is also a recordbreaking number.