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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787

Abstract

LUIZA, Vera Lucia et al. Catastrophic expenditure on medicines in Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2016, vol.50, suppl.2, 15s. ISSN 1518-8787.  https://doi.org/10.1590/s1518-8787.2016050006172.

OBJECTIVE

To describe the magnitude of the expenditure on medicines in Brazil according to region, household size and composition in terms of residents in a situation of dependency.

METHODS

Population-based data from the national household survey were used, with probabilistic sample, applied between September 2013 and February 2014 in urban households. The expenditure on medicines was the main outcome of interest. The prevalence and confidence intervals (95%CI) of the outcomes were stratified according to socioeconomic classification and calculated according to the region, the number of residents dependent on income, the presence of children under five years and residents in a situation of dependency by age.

RESULTS

In about one of every 17 households (5.3%) catastrophic health expenditure was reported and, in 3.2%, the medicines were reported as one of the items responsible for this situation. The presence of three or more residents (3.6%) and resident in a situation of dependency (3.6%) were the ones that most reported expenditure on medicines. Southeast was the region with the lowest prevalence of expenditure on medicines. The prevalence of households with catastrophic health expenditure and on medicines in relation to the total of households showed a regressive tendency for economic classes.

CONCLUSIONS

Catastrophic health expenditure was present in 5.3%, and catastrophic expenditure on medicines in 3.2% of the households. Multi-person households, presence of residents in a situation of economic dependency and belonging to the class D or E had the highest proportion of catastrophic expenditure on medicines. Although the problem is important, permeated by aspects of iniquity, Brazilian policies seem to be protecting families from catastrophic expenditure on health and on medicine.

Keywords : Drug Price; Health Expenditures; Family Characteristics; Socioeconomic Factors; Health Surveys.

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