Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
SANT'ANA, João Maurício Brambati; PEPE, Vera Lúcia Edais; OSORIO-DE-CASTRO, Claudia Garcia Serpa and VENTURA, Miriam. Essential drugs and pharmaceutical care: reflection on the access to drugs through lawsuits in Brazil. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2011, vol.29, n.2, pp. 138-144. ISSN 1020-4989. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892011000200010.
The guarantee of pharmaceutical care as a legal right established by the Brazilian federal constitution of 1988 led to an increase in lawsuits to put that right into practice. This phenomenon has been dubbed the judicialization of pharmaceutical care. Studies on this topic have revealed, on the one hand, deficiencies in the access of Unified Health Care (SUS) users to drugs included in Ministry of Health pharmaceutical care lists, and, on the other hand, limitations of the legal system to deal with the situation. The present article addresses these issues in the context of the conceptual framework that supports the Brazilian drug policy and pharmaceutical care policy, especially the notions of essential drugs and allocation of scarce resources.
Keywords : drugs, essential; pharmaceutical services; national drug policy; right to health; legislation, health; national policy of pharmaceutical assistance; Brazil.