Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
On-line version ISSN 1680-5348
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
VIEIRA, Fabiola Sulpino. Providing quality pharmaceutical services in Brazil: items pending on the Unified Health System's agenda. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2008, vol.24, n.2, pp.91-100. ISSN 1680-5348. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892008000800003.
OBJECTIVE: To identify items on the agenda of Brazil's Unified Health System that are related to the quality of pharmaceutical services and have not yet been implemented. METHODS: Data were collected from the inspection reports issued by the federal government's controllership office. Inspection reports completed from August 2004-July 2006, available on the Internet, were reviewed. The issues identified were classified into 15 categories. RESULTS: Of the 660 inspections that were carried out, 659 were analyzed (one was unavailable). In 62 cities pharmaceutical assistance services had not been audited, therefore, a the final sample of 597 cities was analyzed (10.7% of Brazil's municipalities). Of these, 90.3% had issues associated with the management of resources or services. In 71% of the municipalities, the reports indicated lack of or deficient inventory control, and in 39%, inadequate storage conditions. A shortage of drugs was observed in 24% of the municipalities. CONCLUSIONS: The goals of Brazil's national drug and pharmaceutical assistance policies are far from being met. Quality pharmaceutical services must again be included on the agenda at all three government levels since it is impossible to have effective health care without quality pharmaceutical services.
Keywords : Pharmaceutical services; process assessment; National Policy of Pharmaceutical Assistance; National Drug Policy; Single Health System; Brazil.