Medicinal products can be purchased at Estonian pharmacies on the basis of digital prescriptions issued in Croatia from Monday.
Tõnis Jaagus, head of the health division of the e-services management department at the Health and Welfare Information Systems Center (TEHIK), said: "Nothing will change in the daily work of Estonian pharmacists, their software has been updated accordingly, and sale on the basis of cross-border prescriptions will be carried out similarly to prescriptions issued in Finland."
A patient from Croatia must enable cross-border data exchange in their patient portal in order to be able to purchases pharmaceuticals from an Estonian pharmacy and present their ID card or passport at the point of sale for verification. Following the sale of the medicinal product, the information will automatically be relayed by the system to the Croatian prescription center and the prescription will be marked as redeemed.
The cross-border exchange of prescription data with Finland has been operational from January 2019, and around 70,000 medical products have been sold at Estonian pharmacies on the basis of Finnish prescriptions during the first year.
Preparations for cross-border data exchange with Finland in the opposite direction enabling Estonian-issued prescriptions to be redeemed at Finnish drugstores is also underway, Jaagus said.
Launching each phase of the service is subject to approval by the European Commission and requires preparedness by the participating states, the head of TEHIK's health division said.
"The technical capability has been created in Estonia and we are now awaiting the decision by the European Commission," he said.
The cross-border prescription data exchange in Estonia was developed by TEHIK in cooperation with the State Agency of Medicines and the Health Insurance Fund. The cross-border health data exchange project is co-financed from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).
Editor: Helen Wright