Description of statistics: Statistics on dispensed medicines reimbursable under the National Health Insurance scheme

Produced by: Kela – The Social Insurance Institution of Finland

Statistics web page: Statistics on dispensed medicines reimbursable under the National Health Insurance scheme

The statistics on dispensed medicines reimbursable under the National Health Insurance scheme (formerly compiled under the title ‘Statistics on reimbursements for prescription medicines’) covers data on dispensations of reimbursable medicines, the costs associated with them, and the reimbursements potentially paid for them.

Recorded as recipients are persons who are dispensed a reimbursable batch of medicine. Also included in the data are purchases of medicine for which no reimbursement was paid although the medicine is reimbursable. Reimbursements are not paid until the recipient has reached an initial deductible limit. The initial deductible is assessed on a calendar year basis.

The data only includes dispensed medicines reimbursed through a pharmacy and comparable purchases of medicines made prior to reaching the initial deductible. Only outpatient medicine use is reimbursed under the National Health Insurance scheme. Medicines administered in a public hospital or in an inpatient setting are not reimbursable.

Data content

Dispensation of medicine, medicine cost, reimbursement for medicine and recipient of dispensed medicine.

Classifications used

ATC classification of medicines (drug classification system developed and maintained by the WHO; Kela gets updated ATC code data from the Finnish Medicines Agency), reimbursement category of medicine, reimbursement entitlement code, doctor’s specialty (National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health), general regional classifications and general demographic classifications.

Data collection methods and data sources

The data for the statistics are compiled from processed pharmacy payments. They include data on dispensed medicines reimbursed through pharmacies as well as purchases made prior to reaching the initial deductible. The data do not include dispensed medicines for which a reimbursement was paid afterwards per submitted claim.

Updating frequency

Updated monthly, quarterly and annually.

Time of completion or release

The dataset is completed one and a half months after the end of the reference year. Annual statistics are completed by the end of February following the end of the reference year. The statistics are published in the Kelasto statistical database. The release dates can be found in the release calendar.

Time series

Statistics on dispensed medicines reimbursable under the National Health Insurance scheme have been compiled since 1995. The effect of legislative amendments relevant to recipiency, eligibility conditions and benefit rates should be noted when making year-to-year comparisons.

Keywords

Statistics, medicines, dispensed medicines, reimbursements for medicine expenses, National Health Insurance, expenses.

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