On Wednesday, the Estonian Oil Association (Eesti Õliühing) put forward a proposal to the Minister of Social Affairs to change the Medicinal Products Act which would allow gas station shops to sell non-prescription medication around the clock.
"We are of the view that in a situation where it is necessary to ensure access to necessary medicinal products and at the same time keep a safe distance, selling essential medicines at station shops would help reduce the workload of pharmacies," chief executive of the association Mart Raamat said.
The Estonian Oil Association is based on voluntary memberships for companies in Estonia operating in the field of oil products. The network operates some 200 station shops, around 130 of which are open 24/7.
"Only Tartu and Tallinn currently have pharmacies running around the clock but taking into account the need to ensure social distancing, it is reasonable to expand the outlets of essential medicines in order to disperse people. Selling non-prescription medication around the clock helps avoid situations where many customers flock to pharmacies at peak hours," Raamat said.
"We presume that people would buy medicinal products in station stores only in case of emergency - such as when a pharmacy is closed at the onset of illness or if it is located a long way from their home." Raamat also cited a statistic, according to which enabling the sale of non-prescription medication in Swedish station stores did not exercise competitive pressure on pharmacies.
Editor: Anders Nõmm