Buying medicines online

When certain requirements are met, medicines can be bought online in Finland and from an online pharmacy operating in another EU country. It is illegal to order medicines from sources outside the EU and EEA countries.

A pharmacy operating in Finland can sell medicines online if it has notified the Finnish Medicines Agency (Fimea) of the shop.

Fimea maintains a list (in Finnish) of legitimate online pharmacies in Finland.

Buying medicines from the online shop of a foreign pharmacy

If you order medication from another EU country, make sure that you place your order with a legal pharmacy or another legal distributor of medication. Legal online pharmacies operating in the European Union can be identified by their shared logo. The European Medicines Agency also collects country-specific information on legal EU pharmacies that sell medicine online. Please note that there may be differences in the classification and terms of delivery of medicines in different countries. For example, the national legislation in some countries may prevent the international delivery of medicines based on an order placed in an online shop.

When ordering from an online pharmacy abroad, you must also consider the import restrictions on medicines. Buying and receiving medicines by post from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) is prohibited. Even when ordering from within the EEA, you must ensure that the supplier operates legally and the medicinal product has been approved by the authorities of the country in question.

You may only order medicines from another EU or EEA country in a quantity equivalent to a maximum of three months’ supply.

In addition to prescription medication, you can order self-administered and herbal medicinal products as well as registered and unregistered homeopathic or anthroposophic products (resembling homeopathic medicines).

When purchasing medicine from an online pharmacy, please note the following:

  • For prescription medication, you must have a valid prescription in the same way as when purchasing medicines at a Finnish pharmacy. Please note that it is currently not possible to purchase prescription medicines with a Finnish electronic prescription from an online pharmacy abroad.
  • Purchasing or receiving narcotic substances by post from outside Finland is prohibited.
  • Medicines purchased online or by post will not be reimbursed through health insurance.
  • The classification of medicines can differ between countries. For example, a natural product or other item, such as a nutritional supplement, may be classified as a medicine in Finland. In this case, the same regulations apply as in importing medicines.
  • In Finland, large package sizes are normally reserved for prescription medicines, which means that a valid prescription is required for ordering them. This also applies to self-administered medication, including conventional painkillers.
  • Counterfeit and expired medication is also sold online and the authenticity of a product is difficult to discern.
  • Medicines are not always compatible and may have harmful combined effects.
  • You purchase medicine online at your own risk. It is your responsibility to ascertain the medicine’s authenticity and legality.
  • All medicines purchased online must also be legal in the country from which they are ordered.