Medicines and reimbursement for medicine expenses in Finland

Lääkkeet ja lääkekorvaukset Suomessa
On this page you will find information about medicines, prescriptions and reimbursement for medicine expenses in Finland.

Medicines and reimbursement for medicine expenses

If you are covered by Finnish social security, you get reimbursement for purchases of medicines directly at the pharmacy.

Certain groups of persons not covered by Finnish social security can also get reimbursement for medicine purchases directly at the pharmacy. This includes persons living permanently in another EU country who receive a pension from Finland and persons living permanently in Finland and working in EU countries.

Reimbursement for medicine expenses in Finland

The basic rate of reimbursement is 40% The special rate of reimbursement of 65% or 100% is only available if you have been grantted entitlement to the special rate of reimbursement by Kela. For fully reimbursable medicines (100 %) you always pay a medicine-specific copayment, however. For some medicines, the basic rate of reimbursement (40 %) is also only availalbe to a limited extent. In these cases you must apply to Kela for entitlement to reimbursement.

There is an annual maximum limit on out-of-pocket costs: if during a calendar year your total copayments for reimbursed medicines exceed the annual maximum limit on out-of-pocket costs, for every reimbursable medicine thereafter you pay a medicine-specific copayment.

Buying medicines in Finland with a foreign prescription

Under EU rules, all prescriptions issued in the Nordic countries, EU and EEA countries or Switzerland are in principle valid in Finland too. In practice it is not always possible to medicines with a foreign prescription, if the same or fully equivalent medicine is not available. Some strong medicines cannot be dispensed at all with a foreign prescription.

If you know when you take out your prescription that you will have to buy the medicine in Finland, ask your doctor to write down the active ingredients in the medicine and the concentrations to make it easier for the pharmacy to find an equivalent medicine.

Importing medicines to Finland

You can bring in prescription and over-the-counter products from EU and EEA countries, for your own personal use, corresponding to a maximum of one year’s use. More details are available on the page on Finnish customs rules and from the Finnish Medicines Agency Fimea.

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