Medicines purchased online

When certain requirements are met, medicines can be bought online in Finland and from the online shop of a pharmacy operating in another EU country. However, shopping online involves many restrictions and risks that should be taken into consideration.

A pharmacy operating in Finland can sell medicines through an online shop if it has notified the Finnish Medicines Agency (Fimea) of the shop. An online service can be used to supply prescription medicines when they have been prescribed with an electronic prescription.

Fimea maintains a list of legitimate Finnish online pharmacies on its website (the list is in Finnish).

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 distributor of medication. Medicines are also sold online illegally.

All pharmaceuticals purchased online must also be legal in the country from which they are ordered.

All legal online vendors of medicines in the EU area can be identified by the shared logo, which is implemented throughout the European Union. The purpose of the shared logo is to promote safe online trade in medicines.

The website of the European Medicines Agency features country-specific information on legal EU pharmacies that sell their products online.

More information on the logo for legal online pharmacies is available on the website of the European Commission.

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

  • For prescription medicines, you must have a valid prescription in the same way as when purchasing medicines at a Finnish pharmacy.
  • 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).
  • Purchasing or receiving narcotic substances by post from outside Finland is prohibited.
  • Medicines purchased from abroad online or by post are not reimbursed through health insurance.

It is illegal to order medicines from sources outside the EU and EEC countries and Switzerland.

Take the following things into account when ordering medication online

When ordering medicines online, remember that the classification of medicines can differ between countries. For example, a natural product or other item, such as a nutritional supplement, may be categorised as a medicine in Finland. In this case, the same regulations are applied as to the import of 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.

In addition to this, you should bear in mind that 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.