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‘Judicialization’ of public health policies: building a model for management of judicial lawsuits involving medicines

Abstract

The increasing number of judicial proceedings to warrant access to therapeutic resources with no regard to the norms of the Brazilian National Health System (Sistema Único de Saúde - SUS) may have a significant impact in public finances. However, patients' benefit ratios do not always prove to be proportional. Our previous study, called ‘Anticancer drugs and patient lawsuits: pharmaceutical services model contribution for the Brazilian National Health System’ illustrates this issue, as it concerns PPSUS 2006-2007. In that project, we found out that São Paulo State Health Care Department had spent over 21 million US dollars in 2006 and 2007 to comply with the determination of supplying patients with seven anticancer medicines, given that 7 million USO comprised claims without clinical evidence of benefits to patients. The repercussion of such outcomes has strengthened the interaction between Sorocaba University researchers and SUS managers in the city of Sorocaba and resulted in the present project. Our goal is to build a management project which allows the city hall and the State (comprehending Sorocaba's Regional Health Department and São Paulo State Health Department) to face judicial proceedings involving medicaments. To do so, we consider particular features of judicial acts at city and regional levels, as well as existing resources and procedures. The building of a new model should materialize as a deal involving SUS managers, law operators, pharmaceutical researchers, and also other actors committed to the rationale of public expenditure. In order to assess the new management model proposed, we are to define monitoring indices for the results obtained. Other cities, as well as the other Regional Health Departments in São Paulo State may also benefit from the results of this project. (AU)

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