Latin America – Healthcare a privilege
A study carried out on four Latin American countries including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Chile concluded that most efforts of the health system concentrate on the higher income population while neglecting the needs of the lower income classes.
A research study on access of medication in four Latin American countries was conducted by the National University of Colombia.
The study outlines the consumption of high-cost drugs reduces the accessibility for a large majority of the population in the middle and lower income groups.
The new medicines launched in the market come with high prices. This scenario forces health systems to prioritize and restrict their use to some patients. International studies have shown cases where the pharmaceutical industry encourages the prescription of expensive drugs with biased information.
People in the higher income bracket in general are more informed on the health services and can file legal actions against the State for accessing medicines that are not covered in the Obligatory Health Plan (POS).
The State spends more money on the purchase of few medicines reducing the access to basic health services for the poorest population. Such a crisis requires much broader solutions that include the reform of the healthcare model, so that greater emphasis is placed on preventive and health promotion actions.