In Finland, medical prescriptions are electronic – doctors do not issue paper prescriptions. It is possible to issue paper and telephone prescriptions during system malfunctions, but the pharmacy converts them to electronic prescriptions. You can purchase medication prescribed to you at any pharmacy by presenting a patient guide provided by your doctor, your Kela card or personal identification.
Information on your electronic prescription is recorded in the Reseptikeskus database, which is part of the Kanta Services. The database includes all electronic prescriptions and markings made by pharmacies upon filling your prescriptions.
Your doctor will provide you with a written patient guide that features information on the medicine as well as dosing instructions. If an electronic prescription is issued with your name and birth date, you can only obtain the medicine at a pharmacy by showing the patient guide.
A Finnish prescription can be issued using the medicine’s trade name or active substance.
In Finland, medical prescriptions are valid for two years from the issue or renewal date. However, prescriptions for drugs that affect the central nervous system (CNS agents) or are classified as narcotics are only valid for one year.
Viewing prescription information and renewing prescriptions
You can view your own prescription information in the My Kanta service. You log into the service with your online banking credentials, and electronic ID card or mobile authentication. Using the service requires a Finnish identity number.
You can renew an electronic prescription through the My Kanta service, your own health care provider or a pharmacy. Pharmacies and doctors may charge a fee for the renewal of a prescription.
The information in the Reseptikeskus database is accessible by the health care professionals who care for the patient, pharmacists and students in the field. A doctor or pharmacist, for example, can check your overall medication from the database. Your consent is always required for viewing the information However, the doctor or nurse who prescribed the medication is always entitled to view your prescribed medications in the Reseptikeskus database.