23 March 2020 - Deborah Wilkes
Zur Rose is calling for Switzerland to allow OTC medicines that treat cold and flu symptoms to be sold by mail order amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The e-commerce pharmacy said the measure would be temporary.
Currently, non-prescription medicines can only be delivered by mail in Switzerland when authorised by a doctor.
Zur Rose pointed out that the COVID-19 outbreak was “curtailing freedom of movement” and “mail-order business was becoming ever more important”.
“Online pharmacies can play an effective role in protecting the population right now,” commented Zur Rose, “helping to curb the spread of the coronavirus and taking some of the pressure off bricks-and-mortar pharmacies and their exposed staff.”
“What people who are in quarantine and who are at risk need right now are simple, quick and reliable supplies,” added Zur Rose, insisting that “online pharmacies such as Zur Rose can step in here”.
Walter Oberhänsli, executive director and chief executive officer of the Zur Rose Group, said: “It makes no sense that sick people can have food and prescription medicines delivered to their homes but are forced to visit a pharmacy for urgently required OTC medicines that alleviate flu and cold symptoms. They are exposing themselves to the risk of infection with COVID-19 and potentially putting the health of pharmacy staff at risk as well.”
Zur Rose said it had submitted a request to Switzerland’s Federal Office for Public Health and the Federal Council on 23 March 2020.