Prescription Charges in Finland

Prescription Charges in Finland

Background

Finland’s health care system covers the entire population and is funded through taxation. Responsibility for providing health care is decentralised. Patient charges are a feature of the system with the maximum charges being set by statute [1].

As part of the system, any prescription medication approved by the pharmaceutical pricing board is reimbursable [2].

Patient co-payments

55. Patient co-payments in Finland are based on the reimbursement category of the prescription medication (see below).

Finnish co-payments [3] per year as of 2005 [1] (Contributions):

  • Basic: €10 plus 50% of the remaining cost.
  • Lower special category (chronic conditions e.g. asthma, hypertension, coronary heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis): €5 plus 25% of the remaining cost.
  • Upper special category (life threatening and severe chronic conditions e.g. cancer, diabetes, psychotic disorders and epilepsy): €5 plus 0% of the remaining cost

Reduced Co-Payments

In Finland, patients with certain chronic, severe chronic, or life threatening conditions pay reduced co-payments (see above).

Co-Payment Exemptions

There are no co-payment exemptions in Finland. Every patient pays a set co-payment and a percentage of the cost of the prescription medication [1] depending on the category under which the medication falls.

Cap on Co-Payment

There is an annual cap on patients’ expenditure on reimbursable drugs which was €604.72 in 2004 [1].

Resources

Notes

    1. Bronner, M et al (2005) Pharmaceutical Pricing & Reimbursement 2005: a concise guide, PPR Communications Ltd.
    2. euro.who.int/pharmaceuticals/Topics/Overview/20020430_1 [Accessed 12/01/2006]
    3. Prescriptions collected at the same time for the same category of medication attract only one fixed payment.

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