Medicinal products and high-cost protection in Sweden

Medicin og medicintilskud i Sverige
Read about buying medicinal products, prescriptions from other countries, and import of medicinal products to Sweden.

The state provides financial support when you need medicinal products and some other items for certain illnesses. Most prescription medicines are subsidised. This protection against high costs is called high-cost protection (högkostnadsskydd). High-cost protection means there is a maximum for how much you must pay for medicinal products in one year.

Buying medicine in Sweden with a prescription from another country

In accordance with EU regulations, prescriptions from all the Nordic countries and EU/EEA countries are generally valid in Sweden. However, in practice, it is not always possible to buy medicinal products with a foreign prescription, if a completely equivalent medicine type cannot be obtained. Certain types of strong medicine can under no circumstances be dispensed using a foreign prescription.

If you know at the time the foreign prescription is issued that you will be buying the medicine in Sweden, you can ask your doctor to specify the contents and the concentration of active substances in the medicine. This will make it easier for the pharmacy to find an equivalent medicine.

If your prescription is issued in another Nordic country, the format, quantity, strength and dosage of the medicine must be clearly stated, to enable identification of the medicine. The prescription must also contain the following information in order for it to be dispensed in Sweden:

Patient identification:

  • Given name and surname (the full name must be written, not initials)
  • Date of birth

Check of validity of the prescription:

  • Date of issue

Identification of the prescribing doctor:

  • Given name and surname (the full name must be written, not initials)
  • Professional qualifications
  • Direct contact information, email address, telephone or fax number with international prefix and country code
  • Work address, including country
  • Signature, handwritten or electronic, depending on how the prescription is issued

Identification of the prescribed medicine:

  • The accepted designation or
  • the name of the medicine if the prescribed product is a biological product, or whether the person issuing the prescription is of the opinion that, for medical reasons, an explanation is necessary about why the medicine in question must be dispensed.
Import of medicine to Sweden.

You may bring prescription medicine and over-the-counter medicinal products for your own personal use from EU/EEA countries in a maximum quantity equivalent to one year’s use.

Special regulations apply for import of medicines classed as narcotics and performance-enhancing drugs.

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NB! If you have questions regarding the processing of a specific case or application, or other personal matters, please contact the relevant authority directly.

Info Norden is the information service of the Nordic Council of Ministers. Here you can find info and tips if you wish to move, work, study, seek support or start a business in the Nordic region.