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Table 4 Main characteristics of the principal medicines provision system in place in Brazil. 2015

From: Hypertension and diabetes treatment affordability and government expenditures following changes in patient cost sharing in the “Farmácia popular” program in Brazil: an interrupted time series study


Medicines Provision System

Farmácia Popular – government owned dispensing facilities

Farmacia Popular – covenantal private pharmacies

Public health care dispensing facilities

Out-of-pocket (private pharmacies and outlets)


Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz)

Department of Pharmaceuticals – Ministry of Health

Decentralized, mostly at Municipality level


Dispensing / selling facilities

Managed by government organizations (e.g. Municipality Health Secretariats, University Hospitals, NGOs), covenant with Fiocruz

Private pharmacies covenanted with the MoH

Public dispensing facilities, generally located inside health care facilities

Private pharmacies and pharmaceutical outlets


Managed by Fiocruz through open bid

Private pharmacies

Each government level. Primary health care medicines are mostly procured at Municipality level, except medicines to endemic diseases, which are central procured by the MoH

Private pharmacies

Reference list

Yes, 41 therapeutic groups, 117 items

Yes, 9 therapeutic groups, 117 items

Yes, NEML (Rename)


Clients/ prescription



Generally, only prescriptions from a public health facility is accepted



Fixed price

antihypertensive, antidiabetics and antiashmatic medicines are free-of-charge to patients since 2011

90% of reference price paid by the government, difference paid by the patient (it occurs that selling price is bigger than reference price).

100% is paid by the government for antihypertensive, antidiabetics and antiasthmatic medicines since 2011

Free-of-charge to patients


Maximum retail price defined by the regulatory agency (Anvisa)

  1. Source: Adapted from Silva, 2014 [32]