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OTC drugs in Germany

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There is a thread in the fodorite lounge that had me thinking about differences in my country and others. I am a season traveler so am usually not surprised at much but this had me scratching my head on a recent trip to Germany.
I was looking for some alcohol as I could hear water sloshing in my eardrum. I think the shower was positioned strangely and in rinsing my hair got water in my ear, that and sinus problems. I am good about bringing an assortment of otc stuff but had no rubbing alcohol so off I went to the pharmacy.

There is no rubbing alcohol for sale in Germany. I think they are the hardest country to even buy something for a headache over the weekend but no alcohol was weird in my view. I explained and explained to the pharmacist and he came up with a solution for me. He put some in a tiny 10 ml bottle and charged me 3 euro. He said there is a huge tax on alcohol so they don't carry it to sell. I will bring swimmer ear solution next trip. I must say I think the pines got to me and asked for something for my sinus and was given a total herbal pill for 18 euro. It really did not help the headache but was interesting concoction of herbs. I later saw the muscinex ads in a window and should have pointed to that!
My question is if beer is cheaper to buy than a cup of coffee why is rubbing alcohol so expensive?

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