The list of pharmaceutical products sold through the Ministry of Health’s Community Pharmacy program now includes male condoms. The decision was one of the acts that marked the World Day to Combat Aids, commemorated on December 1st.
According to the coordinator of the Community Pharmacy, Jamaira Giora, it will be possible to purchase condoms for less than what they cost at regular pharmacies.
“In the Popular Pharmacy, they cost US$ 0.30. On the average, they will be 85% cheaper than in commercial pharmacies.”
Giora says that, besides condoms, other medications will be added to the list.
“We now have 89 items. We have added five items in the past two months and are analyzing the inclusion of another five. Two should join the list by the end of the month, one to control cholesterol and the other for hypertension.”
The Ministry’s Community Pharmacy of Brazil program got underway in June.
There are currently 26 Community Pharmacies in the country. Seven more will be inaugurated by the end of December.
But, according to Giora, the Ministry’s goal is to have 100 pharmacies in operation in 2005, when the program goes into its second year.
The Community Pharmacy Program was launched by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Siva on June 7, in Salvador, capital of the state of Bahia.
According to the Ministry of Health, the purpose of the program is to guarantee the population access to basic medications that are essential to health, at a low cost.
The community pharmacies started by offering customers 84 remedies at prices lower than what the market charges, for the diseases that occur most frequently in Brazil, such as allergy, anemia, bronchitis, depression, diabetes, epilepsy, gastritis, and high blood pressure.
In the first phase, a total of 18 community pharmacies were inaugurated in Salvador, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Goiânia.
In his speech President Lula said that the objective of the Community Pharmacy Program of Brazil is “to enable remedies in to be an article not only for rich people in Brazil.”
Lula pointed out that, when it comes to improving the health of the population, the policy of basic sanitation is one of the priorities. “Investing in basic sanitation, water treatment, and sewer systems means investing in health,” he declared.
Translator: David Silberstein