Medicines and medical prescriptions

For purchasing medication abroad, the prescribing professional can issue an electronic prescription called a ‘Medical prescription for purchasing medication abroad’. Electronic prescriptions are also valid in Estonia, Portugal, Croatia, Poland and Spain.

For medication to be purchased in another EU country, the doctor prints out a medical prescription from the system for purchasing medication abroad in place of a patient guide. Electronic prescriptions are also valid in Estonia, Portugal, Croatia, Poland and Spain. The Finnish electronic prescription will gradually become valid also in other EU countries.

The Medical prescription for purchasing medication abroad is available in Finnish and English or in Swedish and English.

Using a foreign medical prescription in Finland

The EU countries use a variety of prescription forms. The layout of the prescriptions has not been harmonised. Prescriptions written in other EU or EEA countries or Switzerland must be filled in Finland if they carry the following information:

  • patient’s surname, first name and date of birth
  • prescription’s date of issue
  • information on the prescribing professional: surname, first name, professional qualification, direct contact information (e-mail address and phone number or fax with the international prefix), work address (including country) and signature
  • information on the medicine: name of the active substance, pharmaceutical form, quantity, strength and dosage regimen.

A pharmacy may, however, fill a prescription upon its own discretion, even if some required piece of information of the prescription is missing. Medicines classified as narcotics or psychotropic medicines and a medicine requiring prescription retention cannot be purchased with a prescription issued in another EU or EEA country or Switzerland.

Verifying the correctness of a foreign medical prescription

Where possible, pharmacies must independently investigate and verify the correctness and authenticity of prescriptions that have been issued abroad and look into any other questions related to the prescriptions.

If necessary, pharmacies may ask the Contact Point for Cross-Border Healthcare to determine the right of the person who issued the prescription to practise their profession in another EU country. In order to investigate the matter, the contact point needs information about the health care professional who issued the prescription (name, professional qualifications, contact information, work address and country) and information about the medication.