01:33am Wednesday 15 July 2020

Decline in sales of anxiolytics and hypnotics

Illustration photo: tablets

This comes from the new report “Drug Consumption in Norway 2006-2010”. The statistics include all sales of prescription and OTC drugs in Norway from wholesalers to pharmacies, hospitals / nursing homes and grocery stores. The report also shows that total sales of OTC medicines measured in DDDs declined by six per cent in 2010.


The most commonly used anxiolytic drugs and hypnotics are diazepam (Valium®, Vival®, Stesolid®), oxazepam (Sobril®, Alopam®), nitrazepam (Apodorm®, Mogadon®), flunitrazepam (Flunipam®), zopiclone (Imovane®) and zolpidem (Stilnoct®).

This is mainly due to lower sales of OTC packets of paracetamol and ibuprofen. If prescription packs of paracetamol and ibuprofen are included, the sale of these two drugs was relatively stable in 2010. This means that more people are being prescribed these medicines by their doctor.

In 2010, wholesalers sold drugs for 12.3 billion Norwegian kroner in Norway, of which veterinary drugs accounted for 500 million kroner. Calculated by sales price, this gives a turnover of just under 19 billion kroner in 2010, a decline of 1.1 per cent compared to 2009. The decrease is mainly due to sales in 2009 being affected by the influenza pandemic (sales of Pandemrix® vaccine and other influenza medicines, especially Tamiflu®). In addition, the introduction of price regulatory measures and preferred drugs within certain groups, such as for treatment of high blood pressure, resulted in reduced costs.

Sales of drugs measured in doses (DDD) increased by 0.9 per cent in 2010. There have only been minor changes in most drug groups.

More information about the sale of drugs in Norway can be found in the report “Drug Consumption in Norway 2006 – 2010.” It can be ordered in print from the NIPH or downloaded as a PDF file (see link below).

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