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Use of Spatial Analysis to Assess Geographic Accessibility of Community Pharmacies in São Mateus

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DOI: 10.4236/pp.2013.45062    3,470 Downloads   4,854 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Pharmaceutical services contribute to the rational use of medicines by ensuring the provision of appropriate, safe and effective pharmacotherapies. Thus, it is important to investigate whether the geographical distribution of pharmacies causes inequalities in access in countries like Brazil, where there is no federal law regulating the opening of new establishments (in contrast to many European countries). This study analyzed the accessibility of community pharmacies in the city of Sao Mateus, Espírito Santo, Brazil. The authors obtained the geographical coordinates of pharmacies and healthfacilities, which scanned and georeferenced the study area. The 40 pharmacies included in the spatial analysis presented a heterogeneous distribution, with the existence of neighborhoods with an accumulation of pharmacies and others with no pharmacies. The authors found that only 43.7% of the study area received pharmaceutical service coverage, when buffer zones of 350 meters are incorporated, and that most of the districts have a minimum distance of 100 meters between health facilities and pharmacies. It was concluded that the use of GIS proved to be very suitable for analysis of pharmaceutical services, enabling knowledge of the local situation and serving as a stimulus for future studies.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

B. Fernandes, A. Lírio, R. Freitas and A. Melchiors, "Use of Spatial Analysis to Assess Geographic Accessibility of Community Pharmacies in São Mateus," Pharmacology & Pharmacy, Vol. 4 No. 5, 2013, pp. 438-442. doi: 10.4236/pp.2013.45062.

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