Functional distribution of medicines

© GettyImages/gorodenkoff'

Fimea's role in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal

Functional distribution of medicines is a key part of ensuring a healthy life and well-being for people of all ages. Fimea's duty is to ensure the sufficiency of pharmacy services, the security of the supply and distribution of medicines and the functioning of price competition in order to safeguard the consumer's interests.

Actions to achieve the goal

Fimea issues licences to pharmaceutical distribution operators, such as pharmacies. With regard to pharmacy services, the number of operators is limited, and Fimea is responsible for the development of the pharmacy network according to customer needs. Fimea also guides and supports pharmaceutical sector operators in the development of services.

By improving the availability, coverage and quality of information, Fimea contributes to the proficient and efficient distribution of medicines. Fimea's work generates information that can be utilised in, for example, pharmaceutical logistics and in the development of automation and robotics related to the supplying of medicines. Such information is obtained through, for example, the assessment of medicinal products, ensuring pharmacovigilance, various notifications made to the authorities and managing the availability of products.

Fimea produces and maintains the interchangeable drug list, which guides the economically efficient supplying of medicines by pharmacies. The agency supports the appropriate disposal of medicines and informs about choosing the appropriate package size and purchasing medicines only when needed. These are ways to reduce the environmental footprint of the use of medicines.

Fimea ensures the security of medicines supply in different ways and guides the preparedness of pharmaceutical services. For example, Fimea supervises the obligatory storages of medicines, the purpose of which is to ensure the availability of medicines in case of shortages. Fimea also predicts the availability of medicines and medicinal products needed in various crises in Finland and Europe. To ensure that pharmacotherapy is not interrupted, Fimea may grant special permits or exemptions for the release of medicinal products for consumption in situations where a medicinal product with a marketing authorisation is not available in Finland. In addition, Fimea may grant or propose that the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health grants exemptions to maintain lower stock levels in obligatory storages for pharmaceutical companies to secure the uninterrupted distribution of medicinal products. Fimea may also make proposals to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health concerning the need to restrict or target the distribution, sale or release for consumption of a medicinal product or substance for a fixed duration or order the prioritisation of a medicinal product or substance in distribution if it is necessary for the protection of public health.