Fewer Resources Lead to More Armed Robberies Skip to content

Fewer Resources Lead to More Armed Robberies

By Yelena

Prozac pills

Two armed robberies took place in pharmacies in the Reykjavík capital area on Saturday afternoon. The director of the Pharmaceutical Society of Iceland told RÚV it’s unfortunate that resources for people struggling with addiction have been shut down with nothing to replace them. She says the problem must be addressed holistically.

An armed robbery took place in the Vesturbær neighbourhood near downtown Reykjavík last Saturday afternoon. The three perpetrators were apprehended afterwards while attempting to flee the scene. The perpetrators threatened staff with a sharp weapon and went behind the counter, where they demanded narcotics and other drugs. Another unarmed robbery occurred at Smáratorg shopping plaza in Kópavogur the same day. The perpetrator was also apprehended shortly after the act.

Read More: Opioid Addiction in Iceland

Sigurbjörg Sæunn Guðmundsdóttir, director of the Pharmaceutical Society of Iceland, says there is no data to show whether robberies are becoming more common in pharmacies. “They have been increasing n certain countries, and in those countries, what I am concerned about, pharmacists are scared away and you just can’t get them to work there because their safety is threatened.”

She adds, however, that the problem must be addressed holistically. “We maybe need to map out; who is committing these robberies, which drugs are being stolen, is there something we can do as a society, are there some sort of resources missing?”

Resources cut out without being replaced

In December of last year, authorities revoked the licence of rheumatologist Árni Tómas Ragnarsson to prescribe certain drugs. For many years, Árni had prescribed morphine to individuals struggling with addiction for the purpose of harm reduction. Sigurbjörg says there may be a connection between that decision and the recently reported robberies.

“Because there was a group that one specific doctor was attending to. Though not using recognised methods. Everything is pulled from underneath those unrecognised methods. And no other processes put in to replace them.”

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