Strategies to improve the availability of medicines in primary health care in Brazil : findings and implications

Barbosa, Mariana M and Nascimento, Renata CRM and Garcia, Marina M and Acurcio, Francisco A and Godman, Brian and Guerra Jnr, Augusto A and Alvares-Teodoro, Juliana (2021) Strategies to improve the availability of medicines in primary health care in Brazil : findings and implications. Journal of Comparative Effectiveness Research, 10 (3). pp. 243-253. ISSN 2042-6313

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    Abstract

    Aim: Access to essential medicines is a key component of managing patients in ambulatory care. In 2008, the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil, created the Pharmacy Network of Minas (Rede Farmácia de Minas [RFM]) program to improve access to medicines, increasing availability and restructuring the infrastructures. The aim was to assess the current situation, comparing municipalities with and without RFM. Materials & methods: Descriptive survey study, data collected from 2014 July to May 2015. Availability was verified by stock levels. Results: The drug availability index was 61.0%, higher in municipalities with RFM. Most physicians considered the pharmaceutical services as good/very good. The main reasons for medicines shortage were ‘financial transference problems’, ‘insufficient financial resources’ and ‘budget’. Conclusion: Strategies, such as the RFM can promote improvements in medicine availability.