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PHARMACY

Golden handshake for sacked pharmacy chief

Stefan Carlsson, CEO of Sweden's state-run Apoteket pharmacy chain, is to receive a 5.4 million kronor ($740,000) severance payment after being asked to leave his post in August of this year.

Golden handshake for sacked pharmacy chief

Citing the “new demands” posed by a recently privatized pharmacy market, Apoteket’s board has already begun recruiting a successor.

“I accept that it is time for somebody else to take over,” said Carlsson in a statement, adding that he had enjoyed the eleven “fantastic years” spent at the helm of an organization that until recent months had no high street competitors.

Apoteket chairman Christian W Jansson told news agency TT that Carlsson had been asked to leave and was thereby entitled to a redundancy package.

According to Apotoket’s most recently published annual report from 2008, Carlsson would receive the eqivalent of two years’ salary if pushed out by the board.

Calculated on the basis of his 2008 salary of more than 2.7 million kronor, Carlsson’s total severance pay is set to come in at just over 5.4 million kronor.

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RACISM

Pharmacy to launch plasters for darker skin

Swedish pharmacy chain Apoteket has told The Local it is hoping to offer a range of bandaids suitable for customers with darker skin tones by the end of the year as part of efforts to cut discrimination.

Pharmacy to launch plasters for darker skin
An Apoteket store in Stockholm. Photo: Roger Vikström/TT
The company, which has 370 stores across Sweden said it had come up with the idea after talking to a number of Swedish anti-racism charities.
 
“We're looking at whether it's possible to have different coloured plasters but we haven't made a final decision on it yet,” Communications Director Eva Fernvall told The Local on Wednesday.
 
“It won't happen by next week but we hope to have something in place by the end of the year,” she added.
 
Apoteket faced criticism earlier this week by a Swedish blogger who runs the website Vardagsrasismen.nu (which translates as 'Everyday Racism').
 
Paula Dahlberg told public broadcaster Sveriges Radio on Monday that the pharmacy giant was contributing to racism by only offering shades of beige plasters (also called bandaids in some countries) on its shelves.
 
But Fernvall insisted that the company's decision to trial darker products was made long before the writer made the comments.
 
“The fact she said that demonstrates that there are heated discussions about immigrants and refugees right now,” she said, adding that the national chemist chain was committed to reducing discrimination.
 
She admitted that the plaster plan was “unusual” and noted that she had “never heard of anything like this in any other countries”.
 
Debates around immigration have intensified over the last 12 months in Sweden, which currently takes in more asylum seekers per capita than any other EU nation.
 
The nationalist Sweden Democrat party is the third largest in parliament after winning 12.9 percent of the vote in elections in September 2014 and is continuing to gain public support.
 
Sweden's government has said it is committed to maintaining the nation's reputation for tolerance and offering help to refugees fleeing violence in the Middle East and Africa. But it has welcomed efforts by the European Commission to encourage other European Union member states to take in a greater share of asylum seekers.