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Trends and disparities in the use of cholinesterase inhibitors to treat Alzheimer's disease dispensed by the Brazilian public health system - 2008 to 2014: a nation-wide analysis.

Moraes, Flávia Silva de; Souza, Mariana Lima Cerqueira de; Lucchetti, Giancarlo; Lucchetti, Alessandra Lamas Granero.
Arq Neuropsiquiatr; 76(7): 444-451, 2018 Jul.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30066795


In light of the high cost of dementia treatment, there is legislation authorizing free distribution of cholinesterase inhibitors to those suffering from Alzheimer's disease in Brazil. However, the existence of this free distribution does not guarantee adequate distribution.


The present study aimed to investigate the trends of prescriptions and the coverage of Alzheimer's disease treatment using cholinesterase inhibitors from public pharmacies dispensing high-cost drugs in Brazil.


This was a retrospective study that collected data from the Brazilian public Unified Health System. All cholinesterase inhibitors distributed at no cost to Brazilians during the year 2014, as well as the estimated number and percentages of patients who used these medications, were evaluated and compared to data from the year 2008.


Our estimates indicated that 9.7% of the population having dementia syndromes used cholinesterase inhibitors, as well as 16.1% of those with Alzheimer's disease in Brazil. A clear disparity was noted between the use and distribution of cholinesterase inhibitors, depending on the region in which they were found. Over time, an increase in the distribution of cholinesterase inhibitors has been noted. In 2008, that use was 12.0% whereas, in 2014, it was 16.1%, an increase of 34% in six years.


It was estimated that 16.1% of patients with Alzheimer's disease in Brazil use cholinesterase inhibitors. These values have increased and, in spite of not being satisfactory, they indicate a potential for improvement. However, there is still a significant disparity among the regions.
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