Taking medication with you on long trips – what to remember?


Returning to the South for the winter? Need your medicine with you? Is a Finnish prescription valid at your local pharmacy in Malaga? Before departure, you should find out about prescriptions, rules relating to reimbursable medication and applying for reimbursement.

As a general rule, a prescription issued by a doctor in Finland is valid in all EU countries. In most cases, the information of a conventional prescription, usually printed on paper, is sufficient. You may also ask your doctor for a prescription for purchasing medication abroad.

If you need to buy the medicines on a Finnish prescription abroad or are given a prescription abroad for medicines you need to get in Finland, make sure that the doctor writes the required information on the prescription. This way, your prescription will be understood in a pharmacy in another EU country and you will get the correct medicine and dosage. However, a medicine available in one country might not be on sale in another country, or it might have a different name. Some medicines might not be licensed for sale or might not be available in another country, even within the EU.

If you receive an electronic prescription, remember to ask the doctor for a paper copy as well, if you intend to use the prescription abroad. An electronic prescription may not be sufficient elsewhere.

When you buy medicine on prescription abroad, you may have to pay the whole price when you visit a pharmacy. Kela pays reimbursements for prescribed medicines, clinical nutritional products and basic ointments to people who reside in Finland or are covered by health insurance in the country. Reimbursements are also paid to people under the cost liability of Finland. The reimbursement requires that the medicinal product in question has been categorised as reimbursable in Finland.

The Medicines section of the Choosehealthcare.fi online service also includes information on importing and exporting medication as well as information applicable to Finland on pharmacies and medicinal treatment.