Brazil’s latest austerity measure could cost public healthcare

In the name of austerity, Brazil’s government wants to cut program to finance medications
Austerity policies will hit the public healthcare system

With a potential standoff brewing between Brazil’s government and its pharmaceutical industry, millions of Brazilians could find their health at risk. Conditions including diabetes have risen sharply in recent years, but a federal initiative to make medicine more affordable has so far helped an estimated 31 million Brazilians. The program, ‘Farmácia Popular’ or ‘the people’s pharmacy’, offers large discounts for medications to treat the population’s most common health conditions – mainly diabetes, hypertension, and asthma.

However, when now-president Michel Temer assumed office in May 2016, he announced sweeping changes to the program. Temer’s government reportedly cut 400 pharmacies from the...

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