How it works
Cross-border digital prescription is an important service for all individuals who have to buy prescription medicines abroad. For this, the person presents an ID with a photo and an ID code or a set of additional characteristics (e.g., date of birth + code) at the pharmacy. Based on this data, the pharmacist looks up the patient from their system and sees their valid prescriptions.
As a next step, the pharmacists chooses the prescription the client needs and performs the dispensation. The information about the dispensation will be sent to the person’s country of origin and the prescription shall be marked as dispensed. All this only takes a few minutes.
In which countries the cross-border digital prescription can be used?
- For Estonian citizens in Finland
- For Estonian citizens in Croatia
- For Estonian citizens in Portugal (list of pharmacies offering the service)
- For Estonian citizens in Poland
- For Finnish citizens in Estonia
- For Portuguese citizens in Estonia
- For Croatian citizens in Estonia
- The list will be updated according to joining countries
Which medicines cannot be bought with a cross-border digital prescription?
- Narcotic and psychotropic medicines
- Anabolic steroids
- Medicines without a valid sales licence in Estonia
- Extemporaneous drugs
- Medical equipment
How is the sales of medicines reimbursed?
- The patient must pay the full price for medicines purchased abroad on the basis of an Estonian digital prescription.
- The patient has the right to claim compensation from the Estonian Health Insurance Fund, which is paid in accordance with the list of discounted medicines and the maximum price valid in Estonia.
- In order to be reimbursed, a receipt for the purchase of a medicine and a free-format application must be submitted to the Estonian Health Insurance Fund.
- Medicines for foreign citizens are reimbursed in accordance with their national law.
In addition to state authorities and the European Union, many development partners have contributed to creating and implementing the cross-border digital prescription.
- Ministry of Social Affairs
- Health Board
- Information System Authority
- Estonian Health Insurance Fund
- State Agency of Medicines
- Astro Baltics
The implementing of the service is co-financed by the European Union programme Connecting Europe Facility.
The joint data exchange project between European countries is divided in two:
- Cross-border ePrescription that enables the patient to buy the prescribed medicines in a pharmacy of another country.
- Forwarding the summary of patient’s health data: enables to forward the summary of the most important medical data of a patient to a healthcare professional in another country.
The data exchange of both services is organised via the platform that is managed by the European Commission. For joining the service, the countries must create a digital readiness and build interface to connect their local systems with the cross-border platform. In Estonia, TEHIK is responsible for that.