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Expensive medicines

A medicine is considered expensive if it is available in a package that costs more than EUR 1,000. The definition is based on the Health Insurance Act. 

If you are purchasing an expensive medicine, you can get a reimbursement for a maximum of 1 month’s supply of the medicine at a time.

Example of what counts as expensive medicine

A package of 30 tablets costs EUR 800, and a package of 100 tablets costs EUR 2,500. Both packages are considered expensive, because the medicine is available in a package that costs more than EUR 1,000. 

Contact Kela if having to visit a pharmacy every month is particularly difficult for you. Kela will investigate whether it would be possible to grant you special permission. With the special permission you can buy a 3 months’ supply of expensive medicine and be reimbursed for the costs directly at the pharmacy.

Kela decides on the special permission on the basis of your overall situation. Special permission is not granted solely on account of a severe illness or because the nearest pharmacy is far away. 

You can get the permission for a single purchase only, or for a longer period of time. In the latter case, the permission usually covers the time for which the prescription is valid.

How to apply for the special permission

  1. Call Kela’s customer service or send a message via the OmaKela e-service. Log in to the OmaKela e-service (available in Finnish and Swedish) using your online banking credentials or a mobile ID.
  2. Tell us why you need special permission to buy an expensive medicine for more than one month’s use. 
  3. Kela will inform you once your request for special permission has been reviewed. 
  4. If you are granted special permission, pharmacies will receive the information from Kela.
Last modified 12/2/2024

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