Evaluation of the pharmaceutical assistance structure in Maranhão State, Brazil

Assessment instruments can measure the effectiveness of health policy organizations. This research is a descriptive diagnostic study the Pharmaceutical Assistance structure in Maranhão State, Brazil. The methodology consisted of obtaining secondary data from institutions related to the Pharmaceutical Assistance in the State. Structure indicators were calculated using methodology adapted from the World Health Organization (WHO), and pharmacists perception about the structure of the Pharmaceutical Assistance was analysed through questionnaires. There are 3,003 pharmacists and 3,410 healthcare establishments registered in the Regional Pharmacy Council CRF-MA, particularly in the capital area. Two main problems were identified by pharmacists: the “ineffective management of the public health system” and the “amount of available medicine is insufficient to meet the rising demands of the population” (23.08%; 18 each). We concluded that the Pharmaceutical Assistance organization in Maranhão State is in a precarious situation that requires an investment of resources to improve the physical structures, expand the amount and improve the qualifications of human resources, and procure medicines in sufficient quantities to meet the population’s needs.