First EU citizens using cross-border ePrescriptions

The first EU patients can use digital prescriptions issued by their home doctor when visiting a pharmacy in another EU country. Finnish citizens are now able to retrieve medicine prescribed by a doctor in Finland from a pharmacy in Estonia with ePrescriptions.

ePrescriptions allow any EU citizen to retrieve medication in a pharmacy located in another EU Member State, thanks to the electronic transfer of their prescription from their country of residence to the country of travel. They are enabled by Directive 2011/24, which ensures continuity of care for European citizens across borders. The directive gives the possibility for Member States to exchange health data held in personal European Health Records in a secure, efficient and interoperable way via the eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure. 

Finland and Estonia are the first countries to have the infrastructure in place and to be given authorisation by the EU eHealth Network to use ePrescriptions. 

Andrus Ansip, Vice President for the Digital Single Market, said: "Free movement is a founding principle of the EU: we must make it as easy as possible for people to get treatment or medicines when abroad in the EU. The next major step will be to simplify patient access to their very own health data, by developing a common format for exchanging electronic health records between EU countries."