Prescription Service at the pharmacy

Prescription Service at the pharmacy

At the pharmacy, prescriptions are processed in the pharmacy system, which searches for the prescriptions in the Prescription Centre and stores records of the dispensing events made by the pharmacy.

During disruptions and in exceptional situations, the pharmacy will record paper and telephone prescriptions in the Prescription Centre during the dispensing process.

Customers may collect their medicines using the patient instructions sheet, the summary printout, Kela card or ID card. The patient instruction sheet is not a prescription, but directions for using the prescribed drug.  

Clients can request a summary of their prescriptions. It shows e.g. how much of the drug is still left on the prescriptions.

Prescriptions can also be renewed through the pharmacy. The other information required by the doctor is sent with the renewal or repeat request. If clients wish to be informed about the renewed prescription by text message, their mobile phone number is recorded on the repeat request at the pharmacy. 

Social and healthcare professionals using the Prescription Centre are identified with a smart card. All prescriptions and dispensing events stored in the Prescription Centre are authenticated with an electronic signature. Both pharmacists with and without MSc (Pharm) (proviisori) have similar rights to use the Prescription Centre. Pharmacology students' rights are more limited: they can search information in the Prescription Centre, but they cannot sign prescriptions or dispensing events. Other pharmacy staff do not have user rights to the Prescription Centre.

Lifecycle of prescriptions

A prescription issued by a doctor is undispensed until a pharmacy dispenses on it. After that the prescription is either partially or fully dispensed. Prescriptions are usually valid for 24 months. In exceptional circumstances, the pharmacy may dispense a drug for a month after the prescription has lapsed. 

CNS and narcotics prescriptions and patient-specific prescriptions with special permission for compassionate use are valid for 12 months. Doctors can also specify a shorter period of validity for a prescription.

Lapsed prescriptions are automatically cancelled at the Prescription Centre after they can no longer be dispensed. Prescriptions of deceased persons are cancelled in the same way.

Undispensed or partially dispensed prescriptions can also be cancelled by a physician or a pharmacy in mutual understanding with the patient.

A cancelled prescription cannot be dispensed. Exceptions are prescriptions with single-dose distribution, which can be dispensed after cancellation, if the prescription was valid at the start of the single-dose distribution period and there are outstanding drugs on it.

If the dispensing documentation for a medicine dispensed by a pharmacy in another European country shows a different unit of measurement (such as millilitres rather than vials), the amount of medicine left on the prescription is reset to zero and no more medicine can be dispensed on the prescription. The prescription will have to be renewed.

The prescription and its dispensing events are stored in the Prescription Centre.

Last updated 19.03.2019