Reimbursements of medicine expenses: Number of recipients and prescription data
Illness / Medicines
Reimbursements are paid from the National Health Insurance scheme for the
costs for prescription drugs for which reimbursability and a reasonable
wholesale price have been confirmed. In addition, the costs for products which
correspond to medicines are reimbursed. Products which correspond to medicines
include clinical nutrients used in the treatment of certain severe diseases and
emollients which are used in the treatment of chronic skin conditions.
The report contains data on medicines and corresponding products which have
been purchased during the statistical reference period and which have been
reimbursed through pharmacies by ATC category and reimbursement category. The
- Number of persons who during the statistical reference period have
purchased medicines which have been reimbursed through pharmacies.
(Medicines and corresponding products = medicines in this report)
- Number of prescriptions for medicines reimbursed through pharmacies. A
prescription means the batch of a certain medicinal product which is
dispatched at the pharmacy at the one and the same time. A medicinal
product which is prescribed for a year is usually registered in the
statistics as several prescriptions, since the patient usually acquires the
medicine every three months.
- Expenses for medicines purchased during the statistical reference period
which have been reimbursed through pharmacies. Expenses mean the sum of the
price of the medicine and the pharmacy's handling fee from which the
reimbursement from the health insurance scheme has not yet been
- Reimbursements from the National Health Insurance scheme paid for
medicines dispensed to the insured through a pharmacy during the
statistical reference period
- Ratios amounts of costs and reimbursements in euro per reimbursed
Variables and classifications
- ATC class of medicine. On the first level of classification the medicines are
classified into main groups according to the organ or organ system which the medicine
affects. Exceptions to this are class E, which contains data on reimbursements for
emollients, class V (Others) and class 9 (Unknown). On the second level of
classification, the main groups are divided into more specific pharmacological/therapeutic
subgroups. Preparations without ATC classification are included under 'Unknown'. This includes
such products as medicines prepared in the pharmacy as well as many emollients, clinical
nutrition products and medicines dispensed under a special licence. Nutrition products
classified as medications are included in category V06. However, until October 2010,
category V06 also included occasional nutritional products not classified as medications.
- Level of reimbursement. The medicines are included in the
statistics according to their reimbursement percentage. If the medicine is
not included in the reference price system, the basic reimbursement is 40%
of the costs for the medicine and the special reimbursement either 65% of
the costs for the medicine or 100% of the costs for the medicine which
exceed the medicine-specific copayment of 4,50 euros. Reimbursement for
medicines which are included in the reference price system is paid at the
most according to the reference price, no longer according to the price of
Starting 1 January 2016, reimbursements for prescription medicines under the Health Insurance Act will be available only after meeting an initial deductible of EUR 50 per calendar year. The initial deductible does not apply to persons under 18 years of age.
- Reference period. With the variable it is possible to choose the
reference period: quarter or year
- Time period. The variable states the period during which the
medicines which the statistics on reimbursement of medicine expenses refer
to have been purchased.
Statistical reference period
Yearly data available since 2008 and quarterly data available for the
current and two preceding years.
Quarterly data updated during the second month following the relevant
quarter, annual data updated in February.
Kela – The Social Insurance Institution of Finland. Statistical registers
(total material) produced from the prescription data.
Additional information on reimbursements for medicine expenses is available
at www.kela.fi under Our Services » Sickness »
and at the same address under About Kela » Statistics » Statistics by topic »
Reimbursements for medical expenses.
Kela, Actuarial Department