Introduction Direct costs for diabetes care accounts for 2.5% to 15% of national health expenditures around the world, fee that varies according to local prevalence of diabetes and to the complexity of treatment available. Economic aspects of diabetes have been studied in the United States and in countries of Europe, but such information are still scarce in Brazil. The main objective is to evaluate the individual spending with prescription drugs to treat diabetes based on data contained in the Survey on Household Budgets (POF 2002–2003).
Materials and Methods This analysis is conducted with the data from POF 2002–2003 which involved interviews on a sample of 48 470 families.
Results The sum of all drug costs for diabetes treatment equals US$ 249 million. Among those who have acquired any drugs for diabetes care the average expense was US$ 6.30. 31.1% of the drugs for diabetes were obtained through the NHS and 64.2% were bought in a drugstore or pharmacy. Those with family incomes of up to US$ 137.00 spend the equivalent of 4.28% the income on medicines for diabetes. While those with family incomes above US$ 2000.00 have a drug spending for diabetes equivalent to 0.51% of their income.
Conclusion Brazil spends the equivalent of 0.02% of its GDP on medicines for the treatment of diabetes. The average monthly spend on medicines for diabetes is US$ 6.30. Despite the health system in Brazil claim to be universal, only 31% of medications for diabetes were covered by the system.
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