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Use digital package leaflets

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All medicines have a package leaflet with important information. The package leaflet is available inside the pack, and as digital version online at felleskatalogen.no. The digital version is always up-to-date, for example with information on side effects.

Norway has a high degree of digital literacy. A survey shows that six out of ten people know that package leaflets are available digitally. Of these, 70% have read the digital version.  

“The package leaflet contains important information. The digital version is always up-to-date and links to a lot of useful information for users. That’s why we recommend digital package leaflets over those on paper,” says Dag Jordbru, Area Director of the Norwegian Medical Products Agency, NOMA.    

Proper use

Digital package leaflets are easily accessible via mobile phone and computer. They can also provide links to additional information, such as videos with instructions for correct use. Scanning of the barcode printed on the packaging will take you directly to the latest version of the digital package leaflet at felleskatalogen.no

The authorities are now working with the Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry in Norway (LMI), the Norwegian Pharmaceutical Product Compendium (Felleskatalogen), the Norwegian Pharmacy Association (Apotekforeningen) and The Norwegian Federation of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (Funksjonshemmedes Fellesorganisasjon – FFO) to spread the word on the benefits of digital package leaflets.

It is currently a requirement that all medicines sold in Norway and other countries in the European medicines regulatory network have a paper package leaflet in the country’s language enclosed. Paper package leaflets have limitations. Among other things, it takes a long time to update them: printing, packing and distribution.  

European cooperation

European cooperation to introduce digital package leaflets is ongoing. NOMA wants Norway to take the lead in removing the requirement for printed package leaflets. This will make it easier for small countries with few patients to use multinational packs and refer users to digital package leaflets. For example, a Nordic market with common packs may be more attractive to the pharmaceutical companies. This may have a positive effect on accessibility of medicines for small patient groups, such as medicine for paediatric patients.  

A common European pack could simplify distribution across countries. This will make it more cost-effective to sell medicines in Norway and may reduce medicine shortages. 

Digital literacy 

In Norway, almost everyone has access to the internet on smartphones and/or computers. The digital information on medicines from Felleskatalogen is well known and is often used by Norwegian healthcare professionals and many patients. User surveys show that Felleskatalogen is the most commonly used source of information on medicines in Norway. As of January 2024, Felleskatalogen had 6,25 million site visits for package leaflets in the last twelve months, corresponding to about 17 000 views per day.  

Read more about digital package leaflets.

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