The discussion about the implementation of generics has being carried trough since 1976 in Brazil. However, just in 1991 a project which proposes the implantation of generic medicines has been elaborated. The Law 9787 (called Law of the Generic medicines) has been only published in Diário Oficial da União in February 11th, 1999. The objectives of this work had been to verify generic medicine availability in pharmacies and drugstores, as well as comparing their prices in relation with the similars and the references. The generic availability was verified in 22 pharmacies and drugstores in Maringá city, state of Paraná, from October, 30th to November, 20th ,2002. In a total of 222 active principles available in Brazil as generic, 71 (32%) had been found. Those generic medicines sold not under special control are in average 42% cheaper than the reference and 15% cheaper than the similar ones. Those generic medicines with red label, sold under special control, are in average 36% cheaper than the reference and 12% cheaper than the similar ones. The generic medicines with black label are 37% cheaper than the reference and 14% cheaper than the similars ones.
Generic medicines; Medicines; Similar medicines; Reference medicines; Public health