see LIST of free medicines available and tips on how to save on purchasing


Since last Sunday, the 31st, medicines have become more expensive across the country. But, it is possible receive some medicines for free through one of the federal government programs. Check the list of available medications.

Medicines: see LIST of free medicines available and tips on how to save on purchasing (Image: Jeane de Oliveira/ FDR)

Anvisa’s Medicines Market Regulation Chamber (CMED) authorized the adjustment of medications by up to 4.5% per year. The increase began to be implemented across the country last Sunday, the 31st. It should be especially important for those who continually use medication.

The adjustment takes into account several factors, such as inflation in the last 12 months (IPC), costs not captured by inflation, productivity of the pharmaceutical industries, exchange rate and even the energy tariff.

After that, CMED decided to follow the inflation percentage. According to Anvisa, this is the smallest adjustment made to medicines since 2020.

Most expensive medicines in Rio de Janeiro

In Rio, the amount charged in pharmacies will be even higher. This happens because since March 18th the state started to adopt a increase in ICMS from 18% to 20%.

And the percentage could be even higher, because, added to the rate from the State Fund to Combat Poverty, medicines may increase by 22% in Rio de Janeiro.

In addition to Rio, 10 other states also approved an increase in ICMS, which should generate an increase in medications, they are:

  • Bahia
  • Ceará
  • Federal District
  • Goiás
  • Maranhão
  • Paraíba
  • Paraná
  • Pernambuco Rondônia.
  • Tocantins

ICMS (Tax on Circulation of Goods and Provision of Services) is a state tax, its value is added to the final price of the product. With this, the consumer already makes the purchase by making payment.

Free medicine

O Popular Pharmacy program is a federal government initiative to offer various medications at no cost. Relaunched in 2023, in the program it is possible to access medicines through accredited pharmacies.

This means that the population has more points where they can collect their medicines for free.

These are medicines for asthma, hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis and even contraceptives and pads.

In addition to being free, the population also has discounts of up to 90% on medicines for Parkinson’s disease, dyslipidemia, glaucoma and rhinitis, as well as geriatric diapers.

Our expert Lila Cunha explains the criteria to receive free medicine, check out.

Free medicines for the entire population

  • Asthma: ipratropium bromide (0.02 mg and 0.25 mg); beclomethasone dipropionate (50 mcg, 200 mcg and 250 mcg); salbutamol sulfate (100 mcg and 5 mg).
  • Diabetes: metformin hydrochloride (500 mg, with and without long-acting, and 850 mg); glibenclamide (5 mg); regular human insulin (100 iu/ml); human insulin (100 iu/ml).
  • Hypertension (high pressure): atenolol (25 mg); amlodipine besylate (5 mg); captopril (25 mg); propranolol hydrochloride (40 mg); hydrochlorothiazide (25mg); losartan potassium (50 mg); enalapril maleate (10 mg); spironolactone (25 mg); furosemide (40 mg); metoprolol succinate (25 ml).
Medicines: see LIST of free medicines available and tips on how to save on purchasing (Image: Jeane de Oliveira/ FDR)

With discounts

  • Contraceptives: medroxyprogesterone acetate (150 mg); ethinyl estradiol (0.03mg) + levonorgestrel (0.15 mg); norethisterone (0.35 mg); estradiol valerate (5 mg) + norethisterone enanthate (50 mg);
  • Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus + cardiovascular disease (over 65 years of age): dapagliflozin (10 mg).
  • Dyslipidemia (high cholesterol): simvastatin (10 mg, 20 mg and 40 mg);
  • Parkinson’s disease: carbidopa (25 mg) + levodopa (250 mg); benserazide hydrochloride (25 mg) + levodopa (100 mg);
  • Glaucoma: timolol maleate (2.5 mg and 5 mg);
  • Incontinence: geriatric diaper;
  • Osteoporosis: alendronate sodium (70 mg);
  • Rhinitis: budesonide (32 mg and 50 mg); beclomethasone dipropionate (50 mcg/dose);

In the case of Bolsa Família beneficiaries, these discounted medications are offered free of charge.

The population can consult the network of accredited pharmacies through the Ministry of Health website.

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Baiana, graduated in Vernacular Literature from UESB, postgraduate in Education Management from Uninassau. Passionate about text production, she has worked as a writing editor, Portuguese language and literature teacher. She is currently dedicated to FDR and her second degree.

The article is in Portuguese

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