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Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia

Print version ISSN 1415-790XOn-line version ISSN 1980-5497

Abstract

MONTEIRO, Camila Nascimento et al. Access to medication in the Public Health System and equity: populational health surveys in São Paulo, Brazil. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2016, vol.19, n.1, pp.26-37. ISSN 1415-790X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1980-5497201600010003.

Introduction:

Since 2003, the access to medication has been increasing in Brazil and particularly in São Paulo. The present study aimed to analyze the access to medication obtained in the public sector and the socioeconomic differences in this access in 2003 and 2008. Also, we explored the difference in access to medication from 2003 to 2008.

Method:

Data were obtained from two cross-sectional population-based household surveys from São Paulo, Brazil (ISA-Capital 2003 and ISA-Capital 2008). Concentration curve and concentration index were calculated to analyze the associations between socioeconomic factors and access to medication in the public sector. Additionally, the differences between 2003 and 2008 regarding socioeconomic characteristics and access to medication were studied.

Results:

Access to medication was 89.55% in 2003 and 92.99% in 2008, and the proportion of access to medication did not change in the period. Access in the public sector increased from 26.40% in 2003 to 48.55% in 2008 and there was a decrease in the concentration index between 2003 and 2008 in access to medication in the public sector.

Conclusions:

The findings indicate an expansion of Brazilian Unified Health System (Sistema Único de Saúde ) users, with the inclusion of people of higher socioeconomic position in the public sector. As the SUS gives more support to people of lower socioeconomic position in terms of medication provision, the SUS tends to equity. Nevertheless, universal coverage for medication and equity in access to medication in the public sector are still challenges for the Brazilian public health system.

Keywords : Healthcare disparities; Medication systems; Equity in health; Equity in access; Pharmaceutical services; Universal access to health care services..

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