Popular Pharmacy: see how it works, how to participate and FAQ

Have you ever thought of paying up to 90% less in the price of a medicine? Anyone who suffers from chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and hypertension, knows that recurring drug expenses weigh in their pockets.

And one of the alternatives to alleviate the problem is right before the eyes: turn to the Farmácia Popular do Brasil. The program available to all Brazilians is an opportunity to follow medication treatment correctly, without worrying about excessive spending.

Better understand the program and know how to participate!


What is Popular Pharmacy?

Created to increase access to medicines for common diseases, Farmácia Popular do Brasil provides medicines at lower prices or free of charge. Currently, the program available to all Brazilians serves through accredited private pharmacies or drugstores.

Who created it and why?

The Popular Pharmacy of Brazil was created in 2004 by the Federal Government in partnership with municipal governments in the country, in order to guarantee the continuity of the treatment of diseases through discounts and free medicines.

The idea is to relieve expenses in the family budget, in addition to reducing the expenses of the Unified Health System (SUS) caused by hospitalizations due to lack of adherence or abandonment of treatment.

How does the program work?

Until the end of July this year, Farmácia Popular do Brasil operated on two fronts: its own network and co-payment system (“Aqui Tem Farmácia Popular”), which differ in some aspects. Understand:

Own Network

Axis that started the program, the network itself stopped working recently, after a decision by the Ministry of Health to cut the transfer to this modality.

The company’s own units operated under the responsibility of city halls and state governments. These were standardized units, which offered the user personalized service, including educational actions and guidance on health care.

In this nucleus, the 112 items, including medicines and male condoms, were passed on to the consumer at cost, which could represent a reduction of up to 90% in the market value.

Here Has Popular Pharmacy

In the co-payment system, which is the only one currently in force , the discount method happens a little differently. In a partnership with some of the chains and private pharmacies across the country, the government pays part of the medicine’s value and the citizen pays the rest.

The calculation is based on the reference values ​​of each active principle, already defined by the Ministry of Health. And just like in the network itself, the government allowance can represent a reduction of up to 90% in the final price.

Understand how it works:

Drug price at the pharmacy

What does the government pay?

What does the citizen pay?

Less than the reference price

90% of the marketed value

10% of the sale price

Equal to or greater than the reference price

90% of the reference value

Difference to sales price

To make the purchase at the accredited establishment, the pharmacy will check the patient and prescription data. Then, you will access the sales system of the Farmácia Popular program in order to process the dispensing of the medicine.

After the sale is made, the Tax Coupon and Linked Coupon will be issued. The latter must be signed by the user, and the address must be filled in at the time of purchase.


Before signing, it is important that the user check the data registered in the Linked Coupon, as it serves as a control to purchase new drugs.

But after all, what is the active ingredient?

Understanding why reference values ​​are calculated considering the active ingredient can be difficult if you don’t know what that term means.

The active ingredient (PA) is the substance present in the remedies responsible for the pharmacological effect. That is, they are the ones that act directly on the organism and exert the effect expected by the medication.

Therefore, each drug has in its composition a main active chemical substance, also called an active ingredient. It is worth remembering that this term became better known after the popularization of generics, which carry the proper names of each AP

Registration: how to participate?

Participating in the Popular Pharmacy program is easier than you think. That’s because there is no need to register!

The patient can guarantee the benefit in an accredited network carrying only the medical prescription and official document with photo, which includes the CPF number.


To be accepted by the Farmácia Popular program, the prescription must contain the doctor’s stamp and signature, address of the health establishment, date of prescription, name and address of the patient.


It is also worth remembering that the prescription must be valid for up to 180 days in case of medications or geriatric diapers, and 1 year for contraceptives.

Not only for control, the mandatory prescription is essential to combat self-medication and encourage the use of medicines, as well as the appropriate treatment.

Who’s entitled?

The program is released to the entire population , especially for people who have difficulty following drug treatment due to lack of income.

And even if you have a health plan and are not a SUS patient, you can enjoy the benefits.

Medicines and prices

To see what are the names of medicines and their respective values, visit the program page here at the CR !

Of the 25 items available in pharmacies accredited with the “Aqui Tem Farmácia Popular” seal, 14 are free and the rest refer to the treatment of the following diseases:

  • Dislipidemia;
  • Parkinson’s disease;
  • Glaucoma;
  • Osteoporosis;
  • Rhinitis.

In addition, since 2007, contraceptives have also been part of that list.

It is worth remembering that the final price of the drug may vary between establishments. Therefore, it is important to make a prior consultation on the values ​​of medicines, in order to guarantee an even greater discount at the time of purchase.

Free remedies: Health is Priceless!

Since 2011, accredited pharmacies have made available some of the drugs indicated for the treatment of hypertension, diabetes and asthma free of charge . The campaign that bears the name “Health is Priceless” determines the mandatory supply of these drugs free of charge.

It is worth remembering that the list of free medicines refers to the active ingredient and its availability will depend on the store’s stock at the time of purchase.

How to get the medicine?

To guarantee the free medicine, the patient must go to a pharmacy accredited in the program “Here Has a Popular Pharmacy”, bearing his own CPF, photo ID and a valid medical prescription.

What is the time interval for acquiring the medication?

The patient may purchase the medication for diabetes, hypertension or asthma every 30 days. For this reason, it is important to be aware of the dates contained in the coupon linked in each acquisition.

How are medicines chosen?

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Some criteria are relevant to the definition of which drugs should be subsidized by the government. Basically, they are considered:

  • What are the main diseases that affect the Brazilian population;
  • Which medications have the greatest impact on the family budget;
  • National List of Essential Medicines (RENAME);
  • Assistance programs of the Ministry of Health;
  • Production of official laboratories;
  • Registered generic drugs.

Purchase of geriatric diapers

The citizen can also find geriatric diapers with prices up to 90% cheaper inside accredited pharmacies. To guarantee the discount, the patient must be over 60 years old or a disabled person.

The documents for the acquisition are the same as necessary for the purchase of medicines: prescription or medical report, in addition to a document with photo and CPF. For patients considered incapable, the purchase must be made by their legal representative.

It is worth mentioning that there is a limit of four diapers per day, 40 of which can be purchased every 10 days, totaling 120 diapers per month.

Addresses: know where to find

There are several accredited pharmacies scattered throughout the country. The addresses and telephone numbers of the “Aqui Tem Farmácia Popular” units are available on the Ministry of Health’s website .

It is also possible to identify an accredited pharmacy through the official banner of the program, which must be positioned on the facade of the establishment.

Will the Popular Pharmacy end?

Since the Ministry of Health announced changes in the transfer of funds to the program, there are questions about the end of the Popular Pharmacy in Brazil. However, the measure actually only foresees changes in the network itself. In other words, discounts and free medicines at accredited pharmacies follow normally .

In practice, the government stops financing its own network and starts to allocate the resource for direct purchase of medicines by states and municipalities. This can effectively result in the closure of all the program’s own units. However, local managers will be able to choose to maintain their own networks, as long as it is through their own resources.

Common questions

Is any type of recipe accepted?

Provided that it is valid for up to 180 days, prescriptions may be prescribed by medical professionals both from the private network and from SUS.

Can recipes without a stamp and / or date be accepted by the pharmacy or drugstore?

According to article 35 of Law No. 5,991 / 73, only the recipe will be accepted:

  • that it is written in ink, in vernacular, in full and legible form, observing the nomenclature and the system of official weights and measures;
  • that contains the patient’s name and home address and, expressly, how to use the medication;
  • that contains the date and signature of the professional, address of the office / health unit or residence, and the number of enrollment in the respective professional Council.

Can the pharmacy insert the patient’s address on the prescription or ask him to do so?

According to the new Ordinance, it is possible for the pharmacist to fill in the user’s address information after the patient’s consent.

Remembering that this will only be necessary if the information has not been made available by the doctor who prescribed the prescription.

Is the prescription retained in accredited pharmacies?

The pharmacist must not retain the prescription, only provide a copy of it for filing with each purchase.

Do I need to sign a document when purchasing the medicine?

At the time of purchase, the merchant must issue two copies of the linked coupon, in addition to the tax coupon. At this time, the patient must sign one copy of each, which will be retained at the pharmacy or drugstore.

If the patient is unable to attend the pharmacy or drugstore, how to purchase the medication?

If the patient’s incapacity is proven, the following documents will be required:

  • of the patient, holder of the prescription: CPF, RG or birth certificate;
  • of the legal representative, who will assume, together with the establishment, the responsibilities for the execution of the transaction: CPF and RG.

What about patients who are unable or unable to sign a power of attorney? How to proceed?

Any power of attorney or document without a notarized signature has no validity and cannot be accepted in the purchase of drugs and program items. In such cases, the patient must obtain the appropriate power of attorney through a judicial sentence, and may seek help from the Public Defender’s Office of his state.

For illiterate or wheelchair users, it is possible to make a “Power of Attorney”, which must be granted by public instrument and signed, at the patient’s request, by another person.

Can the pharmacy accept purchases made by a patient’s curator?

The curator of a major declared incapable will be able to buy medicines and / or geriatric diapers for the patient presenting the following documentation:

  • Judicial Judgment proving the guardianship or trustee;
  • CPF, RG or Birth Certificate of the user;
  • CPF and RG of the tutor or curator.

How is the drug purchased for minors?

Minors can purchase the medication normally, provided they have a CPF. If he does not have the document, the purchase can be made by the parents. In this case, the legal guardian must present a civil identity that proves the dependency.

In sales made with the parent’s document, the pharmacy will file a copy of the CPF and the identity document of the guardian, as well as a copy of the child’s birth certificate.

More than a program, Farmácia Popular is a benefit that can and should be enjoyed by all Brazilians. Having access to medicines at a reduced cost or even free of charge is another step in the search for health and quality of life for the population.