Finnish prescriptions

In Finland, prescriptions are in electronic format. You can purchase medication prescribed to you at any pharmacy by presenting a patient guide, Kela Card or personal identification.

Information on your electronic prescription is recorded in a centralised database, Reseptikeskus, which is part of the Kanta services. The database includes all electronic prescriptions and markings made by pharmacies upon filling your prescriptions. Based on the information in the database, any pharmacy operating in Finland can provide the medication prescribed to you if you present a patient guide, Kela Card or personal identification.

In place of a prescription, 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.

You can view your own prescription information on the My Kanta pages. You log into the service with your online banking credentials, and electronic ID card or mobile authentication. Use of the service also requires a Finnish personal identity code.

You can renew an electronic prescription through the My Kanta service, your own health care provider or a pharmacy. Pharmacies 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.

In Finland doctors, dentists and nurses can write prescriptions

In Finland, a prescription can be issued by a doctor, dentist or nurse to whom a limited right to prescribe medication has been granted. Nurses may receive the right to prescribe medication for some common diseases or the right to continue the medication prescribed by a doctor in the context of some chronic diseases, if they have obtained the required additional training and the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira) has granted them an identification code.

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 (PKV drugs) or are classified as narcotics are only valid for one year.