Prescription drug misuse scandal grips Iceland

The Icelandic media are full of stories about the misuse of prescription drugs — especially Ritalin — and claims that some doctors have been profiting from illegal trade in the drug.

The Independence Party members of the Althingi General Committee have requested that the committee meet to discuss the issues which have been brought up in the media; especially RUV’s Kastljos current affairs programme. Under normal circumstances the issue would be a matter for the Althingi health committee; but the Independence Party MPs believe the scandal is too big to ignore.

There are strong indications that the amount of prescription drugs being illicitly traded on the market is such that it is no longer just a health matter, they say. It is in the General Committee’s jurisdiction because it relates to the country’s penal code, addictive drugs, the work of the police and the work of the customs agency.

Ritalin is a sought after recreational drug in some circles, and Kastljos claims that some doctors are implicated in the trade by prescribing large amounts of the drug to patients who then sell the tablets.

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