Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
BUENO, Cristiane Schmalz; MOREIRA, Angélica Cristiane and OLIVEIRA, Karla Renata de. Cost of drugs used to treat cardiovascular disease in Brazil. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2012, vol.31, n.1, pp. 62-67. ISSN 1020-4989. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892012000100009.
OBJECTIVE: Diseases of the circulatory system are a principal cause of mortality in Brazil. Using as a basis drugs dispensed through Brazil's Popular Pharmacy Program (FPB, for its name in Portuguese), prices for drugs used to treat circulatory diseases were analyzed to identify the advantages of using generic drugs and the FPB. METHODS: Drug prices were obtained using Brazil's Pharmacy Price Guide and FPB price tables. The costs of 15 drugs available through the FPB were compared with those of three generic pharmaceutical products, three similar products, and the reference drug. RESULTS: The generic drugs were lower in price for 10 of the drugs and for four of the similar products. The FPB drugs were of the lowest price. CONCLUSIONS: Generic and FPB drugs are easily accessed by the population and thus facilitate the continuity of pharmacotherapy when these drugs are not available through the Unified Health System and/or are not affordable through other means. Access to drugs should be taken into consideration at the time prescriptions are filled, especially as regards those used to treat chronic diseases.
Keywords : Drug cost; cardiovascular diseases; chronic disease; mortality; Brazil.