Switzerland to limit sales of painkillers during coronavirus crisis

The Federal Council limits the purchase of drugs based on paracetamol, aspirin, ibuprofen, and codeine.

Switzerland to limit sales of painkillers during coronavirus crisis
Medications like Dafalgan will now be rationed in Switzerland. Photo by Photo by GEORGES GOBET / AFP

Pharmacies are now only allowed to sell one package per customer.

The new regulation, which will be in force for six months, concerns a series of medicines based on acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) calcium carbasalate, metamizole, paracetamol, ibuprofen, diclofenac, mefenamic acid, codeine, noscapine, dextromethorphan, and opiates.

These substances are found in popular medications sold in Switzerland under the brand names Tylenol, Dafalgan, Irfen, Algifor, Alcacyl, and Voltaren.

They are commonly taken to treat pain, fever, and inflammation.

READ MORE: Coronavirus fake news watch: No, Swiss hospitals are not overrun

Excluded from the rule are patients with chronic conditions, who will only be able to obtain these medications by doctor’s prescription in the quantity necessary to cover a maximum of two months.

Health authorities warn that patients infected with coronavirus should abstain from using anti-inflammatories containing ibuprofen, such as Irfen and Algifor, as these medications could exacerbate lung infections.

READ ALSO: France and the WHO warn against taking anti-inflammatories for coronavirus fever



Switzerland's confirmed Covid-19 cases now number 3,028, although the real figure is likely much higher given not every suspected case is being tested.

To curb the further spread of coronavirus, the Federal Council declared on Monday a state of emergency

READ MORE: UPDATE: Switzerland declares state of emergency over coronavirus 

All public or private events are prohibited.

“All shops, markets, restaurants, bars, entertainment and leisure establishments such as museums, libraries, cinemas, concert halls, theatres, sports centres, swimming pools and ski areas are closed”, the government said.

Food shops, petrol stations, hotels, banks and post offices are among the facilities that will remain open.

The restrictions also include school closures and stricter controls at all borders.





Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival cancels concerts of unvaccinated British artists

Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival announced on Friday that it was forced to drop the acts of four UK-based artists from its summer program because they haven’t been fully vaccinated yet.

Switzerland's Montreux Jazz Festival cancels concerts of unvaccinated British artists
British singer-songwriter Rag'n'Bone Man was dropped from Montreux Jazx Festival. Photo: GUILLAUME SOUVANT / AFP

The move was done in order to comply with current Covid-19 entry rules into Switzerland, which state that from June 26th, travellers from outside the Schengen zone, including Brits, will only be allowed to enter Switzerland if they have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from the virus. 

READ ALSO: Switzerland relaxes travel rules for vaccinated Americans and Brits: What you need to know

British soul singer Rag’n’Bone Man who was one of the headliners for the 2021 edition of the festival, which starts on July 2nd, will now no longer be able to attend due to not being fully vaccinated.

Other unvaccinated acts based in the UK who were also dropped because of the new entry rules include Inhaler, Alfa Mist and the Yussef Dayes Trio.

The artists have already been replaced with other performers from around Europe including Italian singer Zucchero, Woodkid, Dutch songwriter Benny Sings and Danish jazz trio Athletic Progression.

In a statement on June 25th, festival organisers said they were trying to make sure that the concerts of the other UK artists would continue to go ahead, however it is tricky because of fears over the Delta strain of the Covid virus, which has now become dominant in Britain.

“Whether or not these artists can come depends on their vaccination status and that of their touring entourage, as well as their ability to quarantine at the start of their European tour or before their concert at Montreux,” they said.

The Montreux Jazz Festival is one of just a small handful of big music festivals in Switzerland that will still go ahead this summer. Other music events such as St Gallen Open-Air, Paléo and Bern’s Gurten festival have been cancelled for the second year in a row, due to ongoing fears over the Covid-19 virus.

READ ALSO: UPDATE: What rules do European countries have for travellers from the UK?