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European advances in the field of ePrescriptions
  1. Stephanie Kohl
  1. Policy and Advocacy, European Association of Hospital Pharmacists, Brussels 1200, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to Stephanie Kohl, Policy and Advocacy, European Association of Hospital Pharmacists, Brussels 1200, Belgium; Stephanie.Kohl{at}

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Since 21 January, patients in Finland and Estonia are able to use digital prescriptions issued by their physician when visiting a pharmacy. Finland and Estonia have signed an agreement that enables this exchange. In line with the objectives of European Commission’s policy on Digital Health and Care, the ePrescriptions exchanged between Estonia and Finland are visible electronically to participating pharmacists in the receiving country via the new eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure. Due to this novelty, patients will no longer have to provide a written prescription.

The implementation of this ePrescription initiative has been made possible by Directive 2011/24 which ensures continuity of care for European citizens across borders. The exchange of patient summaries of foreign citizens, which is currently tested by Czechia and Luxembourg, as well as eDispensation fall also under the scope of this Directive. By the end of 2021, twenty-two member states will be part of the eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure and are expected to exchange ePrescriptions and patient summaries. In 10 member states, namely Finland, Estonia, Czechia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Croatia, Malta, Cyprus, Greece and Belgium, these exchanges will already be facilitated by the end of 2019.

Romanian Council Presidency programme

On 1 January, Romania has taken over the European Union’s (EU) rotating Council presidency from Austria with a commitment to put an emphasis on cohesion. To achieve this goal, Romania’s presidency will focus on four main priorities: Europe of convergence, a safer Europe, Europe as a strong global actor and Europe of common values.

In relation to public health, the Presidency programme underlines the need to guarantee access to healthcare for all European citizens, to fight antimicrobial resistance (AMR), to enhance vaccination coverage, to reduce medication abuse and to improve the control of transmissible diseases. Patients are at the centre of the actions in the field of health. Consequently, the Romanian …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.