Finns become EU’s first to use ePrescriptions abroad

The new arrangement is the first part of an ambitious plan to introduce the same scheme throughout all EU member states, eventually.

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File picture of items in a pharmacy / Credit: iStock

Finland has become the first EU country where patients can collect prescriptions from their home doctor, at a pharmacy in another EU country.

From Monday, ePrescriptions issued in Finland will be valid for collection at Estonian pharmacies after a new deal was agreed. Later, it will be possible for Estonian patients to pick up their prescriptions at Finnish pharmacies, but that is not quite ready to happen just yet.

“Congratulations to Finland and Estonia for showing the path in eHealth cooperation between states and I would like other countries to follow soon” said Andrus Ansip, EU Vice President for the Digital Single Market in a statement on Monday.

The deal between Finland and Estonia is just the first step in an ambitious plan to roll out similar services across all EU member states eventually. It’s expected that Czechia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Croatia, Malta, Cyprus, Greece and Belgium will be the next wave of countries to join the scheme by the end of 2021.

“This is a great starting point for better care for citizens, something arguably very important for them. ePrescriptions and International Patient Summaries can save lives in case of emergency situations. The EU Budget financed the technical solutions used for these exchanges, showing once again how important and how close it is to citizen’s daily life” says Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society.