Dose dispensing

Dose dispensing means that the tablets or capsules used regularly by a customer are packaged into doses either by machine or by hand. Pharmacies dispense the medicines in a pouch or dose container usually containing the medicines needed for two weeks' treatment.

Dose dispensing promotes good pharmaceutical care and improves the safety of patients. Participants get the medicines they need when they need them. Also, should a patient's medication be discontinued or adjusted, only minor amounts of unneeded medicines are left over.

Reimbursements for dose-dispensed medicines

Reimbursements are available for dose-dispensed medicines after meeting a €50 initial deductible. However, for medicines included in the higher special reimbursement category or those for which an additional reimbursement is provided, an exceptional medicine-specific copayment is charged for each new week of treatment. An exceptional medicine-specific copayment is charged for at least one week of treatment.

Reimbursement category Reimbursement Copayment
Reimbursement categories for dose-dispensed medicines
Basic rate of reimbursement 40% 60%
Lower special rate of reimbursement 65% 35%
Higher special rate of reimbursement 100% €0.38 per each new week of treatment
Additional reimbursement 100% €0.21 per each new week of treatment

Pharmacies charge a dispensing fee of €2.39. However, in the dose dispensing system, the dispensing fee is €0.20 for each week of treatment, because the medicines are dispensed to the patient in several instalments. If the dispensed medicines are covered by the reimbursement system, the customer is paid a reimbursement also for the dispensing fee.

Reimbursements for the dose-dispensing fee

Pharmacies are free to price the dose-dispensing service they offer.

Reimbursement requirements

Reimbursements for the dose-dispensing fee are available to customers aged 75 or older if

  • they have at least 6 reimbursable medicines suitable for dose dispensing when the dose dispensing starts
  • a doctor has checked that they do not take unnecessary, incompatible or redundant medicines
  • a doctor has found it necessary to adopt dose dispensing and has marked the prescription accordingly.

Kela does not provide reimbursement to persons who are covered by a dose-dispensing system arranged by their municipality.

Amount of the reimbursement

Kela reimburses 40% of the dose-dispensing fee charged by the pharmacy. The reimbursement is paid for a fee of up to €3.15 per week, which means that the maximum amount reimbursed weekly is €1.26. The reimbursement is typically provided directly at the pharmacy.

The amount payable by the customer out of pocket does not count towards the initial deductible or the annual maximum on out-of-pocket costs. Additional reimbursement is also not available for it.

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