Expensive medicines

Expensive medicines are medicines which are available in a package that costs more than EUR 1,000. The definition of an expensive medicine is based on the Health Insurance Act. When buying an expensive medicine, you can be reimbursed for up to one month’s supply at a time.

Example

A package of 30 tablets costs EUR 800, and a package of 100 tablets EUR 2,500. Both packages are considered expensive medicines.  

Special rule if one month’s supply of medicine costs less than the annual maximum on out-of-pocket costs  

Under this special rule, you can buy and be reimbursed for an amount of medicine that puts you above the annual maximum limit on out-of-pocket medicine costs. However, you cannot buy more than three months’ supply of the medicine. For the rest of the year, you can only buy the expensive medicine for one month at a time. This special rule does not apply if you are starting a new medication.

Special permission if visiting a pharmacy once a month causes particular hardship

Contact Kela if having to visit a pharmacy every month would be particularly difficult for you. We will see if you can be given special permission to buy up to a three months’ supply of the medicine.

The permission can be granted 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 ask for special permission to buy an expensive medicine for more than one month’s use

If you use an expensive medicine and it would be especially difficult for you to visit a pharmacy once a month:

  1. Contact us or use our e-service at kela.fi/asiointi (Finnish) or fpa.fi/etjanst (Swedish) to send us a message.
  2. Tell us why you need special permission to buy an expensive for more than one month’s use. Please be aware that we will consider your general circumstances when reviewing the special permission. Special permission is not granted solely on account of a severe illness or travel expenses, or because the nearest pharmacy is far away.  
  3. You will receive a letter from Kela once your request for special permission has been reviewed. If you are granted special permission, present the letter at the pharmacy when buying an expensive medicine. Pharmacies do not yet receive automatic notification of special permissions.