The mutual recognition of electronic prescriptions as a secure means of buying medicines abroad is now spreading to more countries. Finland started using this method reciprocally with Estonia earlier this summer.
Medicines are gradually becoming available on Finnish electronic prescriptions in other European countries and, similarly, in Finland on prescriptions from other countries.
According to the Finnish Social Security Institution (Kela), in Portugal medicines can be purchased now on a Finnish prescription initially from one pharmacy, with the service set to be gradually extended to other pharmacies in the country later.
Medicines can be bought abroad on a Finnish prescription, provided that travelers give their consent in My Kanta Pages on passing information about their health records to a foreign pharmacy. Kela expects that the movement of prescriptions between countries will benefit not only tourists, but also those who live or work outside their own country.
"There are Finns living in Portugal who may need to obtain medicines on their own country's electronic prescriptions," says Customer Relations Manager Sini Palo from Kela's Kanta Services.
Similarly, Croatian and Portuguese e-prescriptions are also accepted in Finland from 31 August 2020. Many other countries are expected to join the scheme later.
More official information on purchasing medicines in Finland with an overseas prescription is available HERE.
Before Portugal, it has already been possible to obtain drugs on a Finnish prescription in Estonia and Croatia. The service is already extensively used in Estonia.
"Although the volumes of dispensed prescriptions have varied during the spring and summer due to the tourism restrictions, medicines were bought on Finnish prescriptions more than 800 times in Estonian pharmacies in July. This corresponded to the level of July last year," Sini Palo says.
Several European countries have expressed their interest in the service. Sweden, Poland, Ireland and the Czech Republic are preparing to deploy the service.
In order to purchase medicines abroad, the citizen needs to have given their consent in My Kanta Pages to passing their information to a foreign pharmacy. A passport or ID card will be required at the pharmacy.
Travelers can also apply for Kela reimbursements for foreign drug purchases later in Finland. Obtaining narcotic drugs or central nervous system (CNS) drugs that require an original prescription is not allowed abroad.