Procurement of generic medicines in a medium size municipality

Rev Saude Publica. 2011 Jun;45(3):583-9. doi: 10.1590/s0034-89102011005000020. Epub 2011 Apr 15.
[Article in English, Portuguese]


Objective: To analyze the financial impact of medicine procurement with the required bioavailability and or bioequivalence tests for the basic pharmaceutical services component.

Methods: A retrospective study, based on document research of competitive bidding for medicine procurement in a medium size municipality of Santa Catarina state, Southern Brazil. Bids that occurred with (2007) and without (2008) the requirement of bioequivalence and/or bioavailability tests were analyzed. The number of resources presented by providers, the number of annual bidding processes necessary to acquire all the standard medicines, the time to finalize the bidding process, the number of failing items, the per unit cost of medicines and the total value of procurement were evaluated.

Results: In 2007 and 2008 respectively, 2.6% and 56.9% of items failed. Among medicine purchases, 60.0% were increased and 29.3% decreased from 2008 to 2007.The total procurement costs for 150 medicines, considering per unit costs and average annual consumption was R$ 2,288,120.00 (2007) and R$ 4,270,425.00 (2008).

Conclusions: The requirement for bioequivalence and/or bioavailability tests increased costs by more than 100% for the basic pharmaceutical services component. There is a need to discuss Generic Medicine Policies to agree with Pharmaceutical Assistance Policies and the National Essential Medicines Report.

MeSH terms

  • Brazil
  • Drugs, Essential / economics
  • Drugs, Essential / pharmacokinetics
  • Drugs, Generic / economics*
  • Drugs, Generic / pharmacokinetics
  • Humans
  • Pharmaceutical Services / economics
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Therapeutic Equivalency


  • Drugs, Essential
  • Drugs, Generic