A Danish drug run

BBB experienced her first cold last week which lead to our first unintended drug run.

Full of confidence I thought I had this task nailed and we headed to the supermarket where I eventually found the drug section.  A lonely and very small locked glass cabinet with Strepsils (2 flavours only) and Otrivin.  That was it.  Fullstop.  Two items.  Both under lock and key.  In New Zealand we’d have the good part of an aisle at the supermarket with every variation possible available for sale with Strepsils in at least 8 different flavours and Panadol in every quantity and type imaginable.  The Danish ‘drug’ section was in contrast, quite different.  As the Dane was at work I had to figure this one out for myself. 

Naturally my first thought was ‘Those clever Danes' …they must have invented some sort of drug manufacturing process melting down vast quantities of Strepsils into some sort of illegal high inducing drug and that’s why it’s all now locked up.  So I duly asked a sales assistant if I she could unlock the cabinet for me so I could buy a box.  Just the one box.  I’m not into illegal drug making after all.

I resisted the urge to ‘Dial the Dane’ for an explanation and returned home with my precious 24 Honey & Lemon Strepsils (for me, not BBB) and quickly began a search for any loose Panadol lurking in the bottom of my bathroom bag. 

Giving BBB a swig of NZ imported Pamol to allow her to breathe I then popped a Strepsil and looked at my receipt.  Those Strepsils just cost me NZ$15.  Gold.  I was sucking on gold.  Thankfully I didn’t spit it out with this realisation.

Doing a bit more research I’ve discovered that Apotek is the Pharmacy (the only one) in Denmark and where you go to find drugs.  At least a small range of them.  Most of the typical over-the-counter drugs that you would find in New Zealand at either supermarkets or on the shelves at Pharmacies are difficult to find and expensive to buy in Denmark.  The British Chamber of Commerce advises people bring their own such drugs into the country for these reasons.  The Dane forgot to tell me that.  I thought it was just him that was ‘tough’ on what he put into his body.  He’s never done Lemsip, Codral Cold and Flu etc.  And it seems most Danes haven’t either.  

Even at the Apotek you can only get a small selection of drugs and if you’re looking for something stronger than Panadol then you’ll need to make an appointment with your Doctor first.  Or do a drug run to a neighbouring country.  Germany anyone?

Kiwis – forget the Talcum Powder.   Just bring the good stuff when you visit.  Panadol, Pamol & Bonjela.

Things I’m still trying to get my head around:

-          You can’t buy more than 20 Panadol in Denmark

-          NO drugs are recommended for children under 2 years of age in Denmark.  Making the 200mls of Pamol which BBB’s New Zealand Doctor prescribed her when we left NZ essentially contraband.

-          When the Baby Nurse visited and I asked where to buy Bonjela (teething gel), her confused look was genuine.

-          Apoteks (Danish Pharmacies) are appointed by the Danish Queen. 

-          In Denmark if you get a cold, you pretty much suck it up.

-          One should treat Strepsils like gold.

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