After the Norwegian Directorate of Health announced new guidelines for face masks, pharmacies have experienced a marked increase in demand. It has caused the prices of face masks to rise sharply.
There have been high sales throughout July, but after the media began to mention the possibility of new recommendations for face masks, we have sold around five times as many per day, as we did at the beginning of last week, says Anne Margrethe Aldin Thune, communications manager in the pharmacy chain Boots.
Several pharmacies are now reporting a large increase both in online stores and physically in stores, especially in Oslo.
Demand is high. Sales of face masks from June to July have increased by 85 percent. We work with an emergency warehouse, and are in dialogue with the suppliers. We follow the situation closely, says communications consultant Tonje Kinn in the Norwegian Medicines Depot, Vitusapotek.
Network providers such as Farmasiet and Zalando have also experienced increased sales in recent days. On Wednesday morning, the online pharmacy chain Farmasiet sold 10,000 sanitary napkins in one hour.
Prices shot up: From 100 to 790 kroner
With increased demand, the prices of bandage packs have also increased considerably. A package with 50 sanitary napkins has more than doubled, NRK’s overview shows.
Boots: Before: NOK 100, Now: NOK 790
123 apotek.no: Before: 164-165 Now: NOK 790.
Pharmacy: Before: NOK 79, Now: NOK 699.
Boots explains the price jump by saying that the suppliers have offered everything from doubling to tenfold what was the purchase price last year.
– The reasons for the price increase are that the raw materials for three-layer face masks have increased on the international market, that prices for air freight have risen and that infection control considerations at the factories that produce face masks have meant that labor costs have also increased, Thune tells NRK.