Minister of Health Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson along with ministers of health in Denmark, Norway and Sweden is investigating whether the countries could cooperate on purchasing medicine and thereby lowering costs considerably.
Such an arrangement could benefit both individuals by achieving lower medicine costs, which is on the government’s agenda, and also pharmaceutical companies by expanding their markets, Fréttabladid reports.
The idea is to create a Nordic medicine market which would not only cover joint purchases of medicine, but also a joint system of medicine licensing, so that if a medicine is approved in one of the countries it may also enter the market in the other Nordic countries.
Thórdarson is also investigating whether there is a basis for a common health market, so that Icelanders could be treated in Denmark, Norway or Sweden with their Icelandic health insurance and patients in the other Nordic countries could also be treated in Iceland.
The minister hopes that his proposals will be discussed formally at the Nordic Council parliament in Oslo this October.
Thórdarson is also lobbying for permitting mail-order trade with medicine. It is currently prohibited, but it is legal to send medicine through the post.