Access to antiepileptic drug therapy in children in Camagüey Province, Cuba

Int J Pharm Pract. 2012 Dec;20(6):390-4. doi: 10.1111/j.2042-7174.2012.00215.x. Epub 2012 May 21.


Objective: To describe access to antiepileptic drug therapy and estimate the prevalence of epilepsy in children in Camagüey Province, Cuba.

Methods: All the community pharmacies in the province were visited and information collected about the number of children receiving antiepileptic drugs in 2009. Availability and cost of each antiepileptic drug were determined. The prevalence of epilepsy was estimated by determining the number of children receiving antiepileptic drugs.

Results: There were 923 children who received a total of 977 antiepileptic drugs in Camagüey Province. The estimated prevalence of epilepsy was 5.18 per thousand children which is lower than previously reported rates in other low and lower-middle income countries. Most of the children (871, 94%) received a single antiepileptic drug. Carbamazepine and valproate were the two most frequently prescribed antiepileptic drugs. Antiepileptic drugs were available from the local pharmacy on 76% of occasions. If the antiepileptic drug was not available from the local pharmacy, the parent had to travel to another pharmacy to obtain the medicine.

Conclusions: The estimated prevalence of epilepsy in children in Cuba is lower than that estimated in other lower-middle income countries. Access to drug therapy in children with epilepsy can be achieved in lower-middle income countries.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anticonvulsants / economics
  • Anticonvulsants / supply & distribution
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Community Pharmacy Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cuba / epidemiology
  • Data Collection
  • Drug Costs
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy*
  • Epilepsy / epidemiology
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Prevalence


  • Anticonvulsants