• Sweden's news in English

ICA announces in-store pharmacy plans

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 9 Oct 2009, 15:25

Published: 09 Oct 2009 15:25 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The first stores will open in the spring of 2010 and will sell both prescription and non-prescription drugs, according to a company press release.

The company expressed confidence in the pharmacy market, which was opened up to free market competition on July 1st 2009, ending the state-run Apoteket chain's monopoly.

"We see great possibilities in the new market. When our discussions over a partnership with Apoteket could not continue, we have decided to open under our own management," Kenneth Bengtsson, ICA CEO said.

The pharmacies will be located in existing ICA stores and will be operated and owned by the firm, a so-called shop-in-shop solution.

"Our ambition is to open around 100 stores in the Swedish market in the longer term," Bengtsson said.

Story continues below…

The second stage of the pharmacy monopoly deregulation, set to take effect on November 1st, will allow grocery stores and other retail outlets to sell certain non-prescription drugs to customers over the age of 18.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

19:57 October 9, 2009 by 2394040
I've followed this story for a while. While this change will no doubt solve the problem of not being able to buy medications on weekends, that will most likely be the only improvement. As for cost, I would guess that cost will start to go up. Competitive pharmacies have existed here in the USA far longer than I can remember, and complaints about high drug prices have existed far longer than I can remember. Apart from the improvement in access, I doubt that the typical Swede will see any other improvement.
09:58 October 10, 2009 by irishmark
shop-in-shop pharmacies have existed in the UK supermarkets for years. The main difference I see in prices compared to Sweden is that the supermarket pharmacies sell very cheap "own brand" non-prescription medicines e.g. paracetamol, ibuprofen, and things like that (which are no longer patent protected, so can be freely copied). In Sweden at present you only get paracetamol and Ibuprofen from the big Swedsh brands such as Astra Zeneca - who I have a feeling exert pressure on Apoteket not to stock "generic" copies. You can buy a pack of 16 generic paracetamol tablets in the UK for about 3 - 4 Kronor - what is it here, about 30 Kronor?
15:26 October 12, 2009 by peropaco
For too long apoteket have had a stronghold on what and when one could buy a lousy box of Alvedon. Just like systembolaget. G-d forbids you go to your country home in Vaxholm or Dalarna and forget to bring a long your analgesics or some good old cachaça. Their disproportion prices on over the counter items like anti-acids or seasonal allergy medications were something to reckon with. Hopefully the supermarkets will bring in more brands to choose from. The average Swede will embrace any opportunity to keep it as is since they have been brain-washed in thinking the government knows best; but for some of us accustomed to finding a pharmacy or a liquor-store at any giving time in Paris, NY or London it is a welcome change.
14:36 November 9, 2009 by kmbr
I don't think prices can go up, can they? I have been in the Apoteke once. I bought what should be a 7sek bottle of hand sanitizer for about $50 sek.

Thankfully, I cam fully loaded with enough OTC medication to last between trips. I can buy 5,000 ibuprofen for about $10...here I'd need to mortgage the kids to get that many.

But, hey, how about all those "free" social benefits?
Today's headlines
Swedish PM visits Iraq for talks on Isis
Stefan Löfven (left) and Haider al-Abadi (right). Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Stefan Löfven will discuss the offensive on Mosul with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Illicit abattoir kept more than 100 bulls' penises
A couple of young bulls not related to the story. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Dried cattle genitalia, goats' heads and hundreds of litres of lard were just a few of the many strange finds discovered when police raided a property in Sweden.

This is officially Sweden's most beautiful beard
The most beautiful beard in Sweden. Photo: Memo Göcek

According to a jury of barbers and 'well known bearded profiles', that is.

Presented by Invest Stockholm
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm

You might think it’s hard to make friends in a new city. But if at first you don’t succeed – try something else!

Injured Swedish photographer protected by 'guardian angel'
Swedish photographer Paul Hansen on another occasion. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Photographer Paul Hansen thanked his lucky stars for surviving sniper fire while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

How Sweden is trying to smooth relations with Saudis
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven meeting Saudi Arabia's Trade Minister Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has visited Saudi Arabia a year and a half after relations turned frosty in a major diplomatic row.

My Swedish Career
'Swedish people love it, but they find it quite odd'
Scottish entrepreneur William Macdonald. Photo: Michael Campanella

Meet the web developer and entrepreneur using traditional Scottish ceilidh dancing to break the ice with Swedes.

Swedish photographer shot near Mosul
Hansen was being operated on in the Iraqi city of Erbil on Sunday. Photo: Nora Lorek/ TT

Paul Hansen, a photographer working for Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, has sustained light injuries after being hit by what appears to be a sniper while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

Trollhättan remembers school attack victims
'It was an attack on all of Sweden,' Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said. Photo: Thomas Johansson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday turned out for a torchlight procession in the small town of Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden to honour the victims of last year’s deadly school attack there.

Sweden wants emission- free cars in EU by 2030
Photo: Jessica Gow/ TT

Sweden's environment minister on Saturday urged the European Union to ban petrol and diesel-powered vehicles from 2030.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available