The cost of pharmaceuticals is slated to increase next month when a new law on drug payments takes effect, RÚV reports. The increased cost will fall on the consumer, which has Guðmundur Magnússon, chairman of the Organization of Disabled in Iceland, concerned. In the new system the cost being paid out by the consumer decreases the longer the person requires a medication and picks up refills. So the cost to long-term medication users under the new system is actually less, over time, but is much more for those who require a one-time or short-term prescription. The consumer will be expected to pay out the first 24,075 ISK in prescription costs themselves. Once the cost of a medication surpasses that amount then 85% of the cost will be subsidized. Once the cost of medication is above 96,300 ISK 92.5% of the cost is subsidized. Guðmundur is concerned that the cost for those beginning to take a new drug will be prohibitively high for the average person. He notes that those requiring pharmaceuticals could apply for a drug rebate card, but that would still require the patient to put the money forward and then request a refund, which isn’t within the means of everybody. If you have a certain medication you’re interested in learning the cost of under the new system, Lyfjaver offers an online calculator (Icelandic only).
An Icelandic computer scientist has created a data visualization showing all of the Bárðarbunga earthquakes measuring over 1.5 on the Richter scale over the last 48 hours. The data used, he explained, is raw data collected from the Icelandic Met Office (it has not been verified by that office), and will help viewers see how the situation is progressing at the volcano. See the whole visualization in motion here.
Kattholt cat shelter is tightly packed with lots of kittens in need of a home, reports mbl.is. As this is the most romantic time of year for cats, it is the busiest time of year for Kattholt cat shelter, known in English as the Friends of Cats Society of Iceland. “About 500 cats have been brought to Kattholt this year,” said Kattholt employee Halldóra Snorradóttir. “These are lost and homeless cats and the number of cats coming in never goes down… When cats come to us, we first try to track down their owner and if that doesn’t work we try
Bárðarbunga volcano continues to rumble but as yet there is no eruption to report, so here is a round up last night’s news. 01:35 – An earthquake measuring 3 or higher on the Richter scale struck the area around Bárðarbunga volcano around 11:30 pm last night, reports RÚV. Since midnight roughly 50 earthquakes have been reported and in total 1000 earthquakes were measured Wednesday. Scientists flying over Bárðarbunga yesterday confirmed that so far there are no changes to the glacial surface of the volcano. 20:56 - Kristján Jónsson, a geologist with the Icelandic Institute of Natural History, has said that although he cannot confirm
The Directorate of Health wants to see taxes increased on candy and soda, and decreased on fruits, vegetables and fish. MBL reports that the Directorate has grave concerns about the eating habits of Icelanders, and are particularly worried about a government proposal to lower the so-called “sugar tax”. The Directorate believes that reducing consumption of certain foods and increasing consumption of others requires government intervention in the form of how these foods are taxed. According to a report from a work group under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Welfare, about 21% of adult Icelanders have a BMI of 30
A legal dispute between WOW Air and Icelandair will be appealed to the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). A decision from the Supreme Court reversed an earlier decision made by Reykjavík District Court, which ruled that the dispute would not go to EFTA. The original request to take the dispute to the international authority was made by Icelandair and Isavia, the company which operates Keflavík International Airport. WOW Air originally filed the legal complaint, against both Icelandair and Isavia, as well as The Competition Authority (ICA). The dispute centres around the parsing out of flight times between the two airlines,
An alert journalist in the right place at the right time recorded killer whales frolicking off the coast of Bolungarvík, in the Westfjords of Iceland. Víkari, Bolungarvík’s news outlet, reports that Guðbjörg Stefanía Hafþórsdóttir spotted three killer whales off the coast of Ósvör, just east of Bolungarvík. As their play intensified, they eventually swam right by the Bolungarvík harbor. Guðbjörg managed to record two of the whales swimming about ten metres from shore, gleefully playing with an eiderduck, throwing it around (nobody said killer whales were particularly nice), which you view below. Killer whales only number in the hundreds around