Center Party politician seeks more restrictions

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A politician for the Center Party is launching another effort to restrict sales of items she thinks are harmful to the public. The items she now finds objectionable are aspirin and other pain relievers.

It’s only been in the past few years that Norwegians have been allowed to buy some non-prescription remedies in grocery stores and other retail outlets, instead of having to go to a pharmacy. Even so, the amount customers are allowed to buy is limited, and prices are roughly four- to five times what Americans pay, for example, for pain relievers like ibuprofen.

Now Kjersti Toppe, a new member of Parliament for the Center Party, wants such pain relievers to be taken out of the public eye in local stores and hidden away like tobacco products already are.

Just as her party’s boss, Liv Signe Navarsete, was apologizing for breaking her own government’s rules on accepting gifts, Toppe was back in the news as well, arguing for restrictions on sales and marketing of such brands as Paracet and Ibux.

Last month Toppe, a doctor who has many children, proposed restricting media reviews of wine, to limit the public’s exposure to alcohol. She also thinks pain remedies can pose a health hazard, and she’s alarmed by Norwegians’ increased consumption of them.

It’s unlikely her latest proposal will get any more support than her assault on wine columnists, which fizzled immediately. Jorodd Asphjell of the Labour Party, for example, told newspaper Aftenposten that medicine can’t be put in the same category as alcohol and tobacco, while Bent Høie of the Conservatives doesn’t think today’s sales methods have boosted public consumption of pain remedies.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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