Estonian digital prescriptions valid in Finland from June 1

Prescriptions desk at a pharmacy (picture is illustrative).
Prescriptions desk at a pharmacy (picture is illustrative). Source: ERR

From Monday medicines can also be purchased from Finnish pharmacies with a digital prescription issued in Estonia.

From Monday, the Finnish information system will also be compatible with Estonian digital prescriptions. Finnish digital prescriptions have been valid in Estonia for 18 months after Estonian software developers completed their work earlier than their Finnish counterparts.

Tõnis Jaagus, Head of the Health Service of the Health and Welfare Information Systems Center TEHIK said: "The process itself is simple. You have to go to the pharmacy, bring an identity document, in the case of Finland an ID card or passport. And the rest of the process is exactly the same: the pharmacist makes an inquiry, sees the person's prescriptions and sells what is wanted."

But what happens if the medicine sold in Finland and the Estonian prescription do not completely overlap?

Mikko Käenmäki, the head pharmacist of the Kaivopiha pharmacy of the Helsinki Apteekki pharmacy chain, said: "The first question is whether the doctor who prescribed the prescription has given permission to switch to a different medicine. If there is no permission, there is nothing to do immediately, although we try to call the doctor, for example

"Is the use of a different medicine is allowed, we can, of course, under Finnish law, exchange the medicine for a medicine with the same active ingredient and strength sold under another brand name."

The project, which cost €130,000, has not only created a digital prescription window to Europe, but will also allow foreign doctors to receive other important health information about Estonian patients.

Tõnis Jaagus said: "By default, this service is open, so there is no need to do anything. If a person does not want their data to be requested from abroad, they can go to the patient portal and close the service."

TEHIK said the potential number of users of Estonian digital prescriptions in Finland should be several times higher than the 9,000 Finnish digital prescriptions used in Estonia in the last 18 months because there are more Estonians living and working in Finland.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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