Financing of Pharmaceutical Services in the municipal management of the Brazilian Unified Health System
ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE To discuss factors related to the financing of the Basic Component of Pharmaceutical Services within the municipal management of the Brazilian Unified Health System. METHODS The Pesquisa Nacional sobre Acesso, Utilização e Promoção do Uso Racional de Medicamentos no Brasil – Serviços (PNAUM – National Survey on Access, Use and Promotion of Rational Use of Medicines – Services) is a cross-sectional, exploratory, and evaluative study that performed an information survey in a representative sample, stratified by Brazilian regions It considered different study populations in the sampling plan, which represent primary health care services in the cities. Data were collected in 2015 by two methods: in person, by applying direct observation scripts and interviews with users, physicians, and professionals responsible for the dispensing of medicines in primary care services; by telephone interviews with municipal health managers and municipal professionals responsible for Pharmaceutical Services. The results were extracted from the questionnaires applied by telephone. RESULTS Of the sample of 600 eligible cities, we collected 369 interviews (61.5%) with secretaries and 507 (84.5%) with pharmaceutical services managers. 70.8% of the cities have a computerized management system; and 11.9% have qualification/training of professionals. More than half (51.3%) of the cities received funds for the structuring of pharmaceutical services, and almost 60% of these cities performed this type of spending. In 35.4% of cases, municipal secretaries of health said that they use resources of medicines from the Componente Básico da Assistência Farmacêutica (CBAF – Basic Component of Pharmaceutical Services) to cover demands of other medicines, but only 9.7% believed that these funds were sufficient to cover the demands. The existence of a permanent bidding committee exclusively for acquiring medicines was reported in 40.0% of the cities. CONCLUSIONS We found serious deficiencies in the public financing of medicines, as well as little concern about the formality in the use of public resources, expenses that meet individual demands to the detriment of the community, insufficient resources allocated to the Basic Component of Pharmaceutical Services, and exhaustion of the financing model.