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Characteristics of the judicialization of access to medicines in Brazil: a systematic review

Abstract

Brazil recognizes access to medicines as part of the right to health and adopts public policies to provide its guarantee. However, the National Policy on Pharmaceutical Assistance has not been able to meet this demand. In part because of this, there has been a growing recourse to the Judiciary to obtain these medicines in the country. In order to know the characteristics of the lawsuits, a systematic review of the empirical studies published between 1988 and 2014 on the judicialization of access to medicines in Brazil was carried out. The 53 studies reviewed present findings that help to understand the phenomenon: injunctions are granted in almost all cases; A considerable portion of the actions could have been avoided if the therapeutic alternatives of SUS were observed. The studies reviewed do not allow to affirm or deny that the amounts spent on the purchase of drugs demanded judicially compromise SUS budget. Finally, the research carried out allows us to better understand the phenomenon of judicialization, although it is advisable to carry out other studies that describe characteristics that have not yet been defined in the judicialization of access to medicines in Brazil.

Keywords:
judicialization; medicines; right to health.

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