Social inequalities in lawsuits for drugs

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The aim of this study was to characterize the lawsuits requesting drugs considering the economic profile of their petitioners. All lawsuits (1378) accepted against Goiânia, GO from 2003 to 2007 were analyzed. Petitioners’ demographic characteristics, reported diseases, requested drugs, origin of healthcare service, and lawsuit agent were described. Complainants’ addresses were georeferenced and distributed into 4 regional groups classified in accordance with the population’s average income. Dwellers of wealthier regions filed court actions requesting drugs more frequently, with an average rate of 1.7 lawsuits/1000 inhabitants versus 0.55/1000 in the poorer region. Lawsuit costs were 4-fold higher in wealthier regions compared with the poorest region. Chronic diseases were involved in most lawsuits, where acute and low complexity diseases predominated among complainants living in poorer regions. Thus, social differences were reflected in the granting of health rights.



Health rights, Health care, Drugs/access, Health inequalities, Direito à saúde, Assistência a saúde, Medicamentos/acesso público, Saúde/desigualdades de acesso


PROVIN, Mercia Pandolfo; LEITE, Silvana Nair; AMARAL, Silvana Nair. Social inequalities in lawsuits for drugs. Brazilian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, São Paulo, v. 49, n. 3, p. 465-474, July/Sept. 2013.