What is a digital prescription?
The digital prescription is one of the four state-wide e-health projects meant for patients (digital medical history, the national eBooking system, digital photo, and digital prescription / medical device card). Currently, only the digital prescription and the digital medical device card have been fully implemented. A digital prescription is an electronic prescription of a medicinal product or a digital prescription of a medical device that the physician prescribes to the patient on the computer. Digital prescriptions are not printed out on paper but are sent directly from the computer of the physician to the prescription centre. The prescription centre is an electronic database created for issuing and processing prescriptions (medicinal products, baby food, medical devices). When going to a pharmacy, the person purchasing the medicinal product must bring their identity document, which includes their photo and personal identification code, such as an ID card, driving licence, or passport. If the medicinal product is purchased for another person, their personal identification code must also be known. The pharmacists can easily find all the information they need in the prescription centre using the patient’s personal identification code.
You can see all of your digital prescriptions in the state portal eesti.ee and the patient portal digilugu.ee. Information about the digital prescriptions of your underage child can be seen in the patient portal digilugu.ee. To do this, the parent must log in to the portal with their ID card, click on ‘Switch roles’ on the homepage, and select their child from the list. It is then possible to view the health data of the child, including their digital prescriptions. To view their child’s prescriptions form the state portal eesti.ee, the parent must log in to the state portal with the child’s ID card.
In exceptional situations, such as during home visits or power outages, the doctor will still be able to issue a paper prescription.
Digital prescriptions can be used to purchase medicinal products from all Estonian pharmacies and e-pharmacies.
- Information sheet of the digital prescription for patients (drawn up in 2010)
- Video ‘How to buy medicinal products with a digital prescription?’
Types of digital prescriptions
When preparing a digital prescription, the patient has the possibility to restrict the right to buy the medicinal product. By default, all prescriptions are public, but this status can be changed by the doctor when preparing a prescription or by the patient on the patient portal.
- Private prescription – only the patient can purchase the prescription from the pharmacy.
- Authorised prescription – the prescription can be purchased from the pharmacy by the patient themselves and by the people they have authorised to do so on the patient portal (additional information www.digilugu.ee).
- Public prescription – all people who know the patient’s personal identification code can purchase the prescription from the pharmacy. The buyer must also submit their identity document and their personal identification code is stored in the prescription centre.
Purchasing the digital prescription
The person purchasing the medicinal product must present to the pharmacist their identity document including a photo and personal identification code. If the medicinal product is purchased for another person, their personal identification code must also be known. On the basis of the personal identification code, the pharmacist will find the correct prescription in the prescription centre. The personal identification code of the buyer is also stored on the prescription. If there are several pending prescriptions, the name or active ingredient of the medicine should also be known.
Digital prescriptions abroad
The Estonian digital prescription is also valid in Finland, Croatia, Portugal, Poland, and Spain. When buying the prescribed medicinal product, a person only needs to submit their ID card or passport. More information about the cross-border digital prescription can be found here https://www.tehik.ee/en/cross-border-digital-prescription
The drug reimbursement process is the same as for paper prescriptions. In Finland, a person insured in Estonia must first pay the full price for the medicine prescribed to them in Estonia. Afterwards, they can reclaim the amount paid for the medicinal product from the Estonian Health Insurance Fund on the basis of an application for reimbursement and the receipt for the purchase of the medicinal product. In the case of prescriptions issued in Estonia, the medicine is reimbursed on the basis of the terms and conditions and the reference price valid in Estonia, and therefore, the medicine is reimbursed retrospectively.
The cross-border digital project is funded by the EU. Other European Union Member States are gradually joining the cross-border digital prescription project, and soon, medicines can be bought with a digital prescription also in other EU Member States in addition to Finland, Croatia, Portugal, and Poland.
How to purchase a digital prescription in another EU Member State?
The patient must have an ID card or passport as an identity document, by which the pharmacist identifies the patient and receives a personal identification code for making a query for the prescriptions.
If a pharmacist in another country makes a query about an Estonian person, the health information system will be checked to see whether the data is open for cross-border data exchange. The data is open for all Estonian citizens by default, but can be closed on the patient portal www.digilugu.ee. Once the data is closed, it can be reopened later. In the case of closed data, a message is displayed to the pharmacist that the patient was not found.
It is not possible to buy narcotic drugs and psychotropic drugs, anabolic steroids, medicinal products without a valid Estonian marketing authorisation, or extemporaneous medicinal products or medical devices, i.e. those prepared in pharmacies, on a cross-border basis.
When buying a prescription medicinal product abroad, it should be taken into account that the same medicinal products may not be available in all countries or the same medicinal products may have different names.
The information sheet for Estonian patients who wish to use the cross-border digital prescription service in a foreign country can be consulted here: https://tehik.ee/sites/default/files/2021-03/Patsiendi_teavitamine_eP-A_EE.pdf. The patient has the right to receive information in their mother tongue about the processing, storage, etc. of personal data in a foreign country.
Korduma kippuvad küsimused - KKK
First the doctor issues a prescription to the patient. If the doctor prescribing a medicine does not specify otherwise, then all prescriptions are public, i.e. everyone knowing the patient’s personal identification code can buy the drug.
If prescription is marked „Private“, only the patient him/herself can purchase the medicines.If the prescription is marked „Authorized“, then people, assigned by a patient in electronic Health Portal can collect medicines.Then the patient goes to the pharmacist and presents his/her identity document. After that the pharmacist can sell the drugs prescribed to the patient. All the data will be saved in the Health Portal where patient has a full overview of the drugs prescribed and bought.
Yes, drugs can be bought for someone else and you need your identity document and the identity code of the person you are buying medicines for.
The pharmacist enters the buyer’s personal identification code into the Digital Prescription Center. The buyer has to know the identification code of the patient. If the patient has more than one prescription, then it is necessary to know the name of the drug or the doctor or the date of the prescription in order to pick the right one.
The doctor can issue a paper prescription. The pharmacist can call to service desk of digital prescription and he/she will have all the information necessary to sell the drug that is needed.
In case of a home visit, the doctor writes the prescription on a paper as in the past. The buyer must give the identity document and the prescription on paper to the pharmacist. If the pharmacist has registered the prescription in the Digital Prescription Center, the patient and physicians can see it in the Health Portal.
We recommend that you actively use the Health Portal, where in addition to general health information you can monitor the information of the prescription drugs, including whether the patient has bought the drugs or for how long the prescriptions are valid.
If you can’t access the Internet, you should make notes of the prescription (in calendar or somewhere else) or ask the doctor to issue a paper with all the information needed.
Paper prescriptions can be prescribed if it is not possible or practical to issue digital prescription (for example, a patient who is planning to go abroad and needs to buy medicines abroad).