Questions and answers about the Prescription service.

When healthcare professionals prescribe medicine for you, they issue an electronic prescription.  The prescription is entered in the Prescription Centre. You may receive a paper copy of patient instructions with the names and dosage instructions of the medicines prescribed to you.

The staff at the pharmacy will check the Prescription Centre to see which medicines have been prescribed to you. To get your medicine, please show, e.g. your Kela card or the patient instructions.

You can print out a summary of your prescriptions on MyKanta. You can also request a summary from the healthcare provider or pharmacy, for example, when buying your medicines.

The summary also shows all your prescriptions, the quantities of medicines outstanding, and the expiry date of the prescription.

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You can request a prescription renewal from your own healthcare provider or send the renewal request in MyKanta. You can also request a prescription renewal at a pharmacy.

You can send the renewal request to healthcare units accepting the requests via MyKanta and pharmacies. Not all healthcare units accept renewal requests.

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You will receive a text message notification of a renewed prescription if you has given your telephone number for such notifications.

The telephone number is entered for the renewal request in the healthcare service or pharmacy at the time of requesting the prescription renewal. If you are requesting the renewal of a prescription in MyKanta, you can submit your telephone number there. If a mobile number has not been entered in the renewal request or if it has been entered incorrectly, the client will not receive a text message.

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Information about the prescription renewal is sent to the number that the client has given when submitting the renewal request in the healthcare service in a pharmacy or in MyKanta.

If you have received a text message that is not meant for you, a wrong telephone number has been entered in the renewal request by mistake.

This is unfortunate and we apologise for the inconvenience. However, the message does not contain any data that would reveal anyone’s personal data. The situation does not require any action from you.

The documents you will need depend on the legal and customs regulations of the country in question, which medicines you are taking with you, and whether you are travelling to Schengen countries.

If you intend to buy medicines in an overseas country where Finnish e-prescriptions are not valid, you will need a paper copy of the prescription in English. The person issuing the medicine will write a paper prescription for you.

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The following medicines cannot be bought overseas with an e-prescription:

  • medicinal products mainly having an impact on the central nervous system (CNS medicines), which require the original prescription (CNS class, PA or ZA).
    • you can check the CNS class in Fimea’s pharmaceutical search service
  • narcotics
  • medicines prepared in the pharmacy
  • combination packages that contain several different preparations
  • over-the-counter products that are not medicines (e.g. base creams, clinical nutritional preparations) 
  • care supplies, dietary supplements and dressings
  • patient-specific special licensed medicines.

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The amount of medicine still to be dispensed on a prescription submitted to an overseas pharmacy must be expressed as a single clear figure for dispensing purposes. With prescriptions issued for a specific period or to be renewed at specific intervals, is not possible to run a program to calculate the remaining amount of medicine to be dispensed. For that reason they cannot be dispensed abroad. 

Doctors are instructed to issue prescriptions as packages or as the total amount, in which case there is no obstacle to dispensing the prescription abroad. If you intend to buy medicine from an overseas pharmacy in future, but the doctor has issued the prescription for a specific period or to be renewed at specific intervals, it is advisable to ask the doctor to prescribe the medicine so that it will be possible to buy it abroad in the future.

No, you can’t. You will need to ask a doctor for a paper copy of a prescription in English. You need to take the paper prescription with you when visiting an overseas pharmacy, although the prescription can be viewed in your prescription data in MyKanta. 

Please note that the paper prescription in question is not valid in Finland and it cannot be dispensed electronically.

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Currently, the foreign electronic prescription service operates in Estonia, Croatia, Portugal, Poland, and some pharmacies in Spain. As and when more countries will join the service, we will inform about them on the Kanta Services website.

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If you do not have a Finnish identity code, you cannot buy medicines with an e-prescription at an overseas pharmacy.

If your prescription has been issued with a Finnish personal identity code, you can buy the medicine with the prescription in question at a pharmacy in your own country. The pharmacy must be capable of dispensing electronic prescriptions issued in another country.

You can claim reimbursement for medicine purchased abroad from Kela afterwards by completing the form “Claim – Medical care expenses incurred abroad”.

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Last updated 10.5.2023