If you are using an electronic prescription, take one of the following with you:
- a patient instruction sheet printed out by your doctor. It lists all medicines prescribed to you at the same time.
- a signed summary print-out in English, available from the pharmacy or the person who has issued the prescription, i.e. a copy of electronic prescriptions. The copy can be printed out on medicines that have been purchased from the pharmacy.
- a Finnish-language summary of your prescriptions. This can be requested from the pharmacy or printed out through My Kanta pages (select "Print summary"). Access to the service requires authentication with your electronic ID card (HST card), online bank ID or mobile ID.
You can also ask your doctor for a report of your medication and its reasons, or diagnostic details or case histories related to your medical condition. Sometimes it may be worthwhile to have the documents translated into English or the language of your destination country.
When travelling abroad, keep the medicines in their original packaging and pack them in the hand luggage. The import practices of personal medicines and the medicinal products you can carry with you depend on the country of destination. More detailed information can be obtained, e.g. by asking from the website of the Customs of the destination country or from the embassy of the country in question.
Taking medicines containing narcotics and central nervous system drugs abroad
When travelling to Schengen* countries, you must have a Schengen certificate if you carry certain medication that affects primarily the central nervous system (CNS drugs) or contains psychotropical or narcotic substances. Tell the pharmacy which medicines you are taking with you, and the staff will advise you whether you need a Schengen certificate for them or not. The certificate is valid for 30 days from the first day of travel. The Schengen certificate is an official document used in Schengen countries. With the document, an individual travelling in the area can prove, e.g. to the authorities, that they are entitled to carry the medicines in question.
To issue the certificate, the pharmacy requires
- the prescription for the medicine
- your travel document (passport or ID card). The passport number is entered on the certificate. If you are travelling within the Nordic countries and do not have a passport, your ID number is entered on the certificate.
The certificate can be issued
- when the medicine is dispensed at the pharmacy
- afterwards from the pharmacy which dispensed the medicine.
* Schengen countries: the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Iceland, Italy, Austria, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Poland, France, Sweden, Germany, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland, Switzerland, Denmark, Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia
Purchasing medicines abroad
If you intend to buy medicines abroad, the person who has issued the medication may provide you with an electronic prescription, called a prescription for drug purchases abroad. Instead of a patient instruction sheet, the person who issued the medicine will print out an English-language prescription, which is used in the same way as a paper prescription. It cannot be used for purchasing medicines in Finland and it cannot be printed out from My Kanta pages.
A prescription for drug purchases abroad cannot be issued with the following drugs
- CNS drugs containing narcotics or requiring the original prescription
- medicines prepared in the pharmacy.
The EU countries must recognise prescriptions issued in other member states. A pharmacy may refuse to dispense a prescription issued in another member state if it has doubts as to the authenticity or appropriateness of the prescription. The pharmacy will dispense the medicines in accordance with the legislation of its own country.