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Tens of millions of prescriptions are processed electronically via Kanta each year

Blog Written on 29.03.2019 All blogs

Prescriptions are processed easily in the electronic format as it is a safe method and information is kept secure. In Finland, all prescriptions and medicine dispensations are made electronically in the Kanta Services.

Did you know that the first e-prescription was issued already in 2010? A doctor in the Kirkkotie health centre in Turku entered the prescription in the Prescription Centre in the Kanta Services, from where the pharmacy was able to access the prescription data directly. The prescription service still works in the same way: the data is transmitted in encrypted form from the healthcare service to the Prescription Centre and from there to the pharmacy, requiring strong identification by the users.

Today all prescriptions are issued electronically as e-prescriptions became mandatory on 1 January 2017. Doctors can issue paper prescriptions only in exceptional cases, and they too are converted to electronic format by the pharmacy and entered in Kanta's Prescription Centre.

In the first few years of electronic prescriptions, a moderate number of prescriptions and dispensations were processed through the Kanta Services: in 2010 there were a total of 11,733 e-prescriptions (9,343 medicine dispensations), and the next year the number of e-prescriptions was 344,044 (349,501 medicine dispensations). 

An infographic about the growth of prescriptions and medicine dispensations 2014–2018.

In 2012, the number of electronically issued prescriptions was measured in millions (4.5 mill., 5.4 mill. dispensations), and in 2014 almost 25 million electronic prescriptions and 38.9 dispensations took place via the Kanta Services. The popularity of e-prescriptions grew steadily among the healthcare services, pharmacy professionals and citizens alike. In 2015, there were already 27.9 million prescriptions and more than 49 million medicine dispensations, and in 2016 these figures grew to 29.6 million and 55.1 million. 

In 2017, there were 31.9 million prescriptions issued and 61.3 million medicine dispensations.  These days, prescriptions are mainly valid for two years, and there has been a slight downward trend in the number or e-prescriptions. In 2018, a total of 28.3 million prescriptions were issued, resulting in 64.4 million medicine dispensations.

Citizens can view their own prescription data and request a repeat prescription in the My Kanta Pages service. You can log in to My Kanta Pages with your online banking codes, electronic ID card or mobile certificate. 

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