If until now, Estonian pharmacies could issue ePrescription drugs prescribed in Finland, Portugal and Croatia, Poland has now also been added to the list. Thanks to cross-border data exchange, ePrescription drugs prescribed by Estonian doctors can also be purchased in all the countries listed above.
The Health and Welfare Information Systems Centre (TEHIK) is responsible for the cross-border movement of prescription data. ‘In today's world, where travelling and working in foreign countries is a part of everyday life for many people, it is understandable that people expect the possibility to buy medicines prescribed in our home country in another country if necessary,’ claimed Katre Pruul, data exchange service manager for cross-border ePrescription and Patient Summary of TEHIK. ‘For example, this year there hasn't been a single day after January 1 when some Estonian ePrescription medicine was not purchased abroad or, conversely, a foreign ePrescription medicine was not purchased here.’
Finns staying in Estonia use this option most often – the flow of prescription data between Estonia and Finland was opened in 2019. ‘In 2020 Finland opened up the same opportunity for Estonians, and from that time until today, Estonians have bought ePrescription medicines in Finland over 8,400 times,’ said Pruul. ‘However, in Estonia, the Finns have already bought medicines with an ePrescription more than 20,000 times.’
The average number of purchases per day is 31. The most frequent exchange of prescription data takes place between pharmacies in Estonia and Finland, which were the first countries in the European Union to open the service. ‘At the same time, drug sales from other countries are increasingly added to the statistics,’ added Pruul. The plan for the coming years is that the cross-border ePrescription will work in 25 European countries. ‘Countries closer to Estonia that have not yet joined the service, such as Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden, are actively working on it, and hopefully they will also be able to join the service in the near future.’
Prescription data exchange takes place via a secure platform developed and managed by the European Union. To join the service, countries need to create digital readiness and interface their local systems with this platform.
The most up-to-date information on which countries have joined the service and what is important in the cross-border data exchange service can be found on TEHIK's website https://tehik.ee/en/cross-border-data-exchange
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