Description of statistics: Statistics on reimbursements for prescription medicines

Produced by: Kela – The Social Insurance Institution of Finland

Web page: Statistics on reimbursements for prescription medicines

The statistics on medicine expenditures and reimbursements paid out consist of reimbursement data on prescription medicines analysed statistically according to the date of purchase. All permanent residents of Finland are covered under the Finnish National Health Insurance (NHI) system. All are eligible for reimbursements for the cost of reimbursable medicines prescribed by a doctor or dentist. Only outpatient medication costs are covered under the National Health Insurance scheme. Medication administered in public hospitals is not reimbursable.

Data content

Prescription, purchase of medicine, medicine expenses and reimbursement for medicine expenses, recipient of a reimbursement in respect of a purchase of medicine.

Classifications used

ATC classification of medicines (Anatomic Therapeutic Chemical classification and defined daily doses, Finnish Medicines Agency, Fimea), reimbursement category of medicines, diseases conferring an entitlement to special rate of reimbursement or to medicines with limited reimbursability, physician specialisation (National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health, Valvira), general regional classifications and general demographic classifications.

Data collection methods and data sources

The statistics on reimbursements for prescription medicines are based on data on the determination and payment of claims for reimbursement and on purchases of medicines qualifying for a direct (on-the-spot) reimbursement (prescription file).

Updating frequency

Updated quarterly and annually with reimbursement data concerning medicines purchased in the relevant period.

Time of completion or release

Annual statistics are completed by the end of March following the end of the reference year. The statistics are published in the Kelasto statistical database. The publication dates can be found in the release calendar.

Time series

Statistics on reimbursements for prescription medicines have been compiled since 1995. The effect of legislative amendments on eligibility conditions and rates should be noted when making year-to-year comparisons.


Statistics (data), medicines, reimbursements for medicines, prescriptions, health insurance, medicine costs.