Day worker Maria Tereza de Camargo, 67, is well aware of what happens when you don’t take medication to control your blood pressure. There is a double fatigue, one as an effect of the interruption in the treatment, and the other from so often going to the health center in search of losartan potassium.
According to her, the medicine, which is distributed free of charge in the public network in the capital, has been out of stock for two months at the UBS (Basic Health Unit) Jardim São Jorge pharmacy, in the west side of São Paulo.
The medicine provided by the diarist in the west zone is one of those that have disappeared from the health centers in the city of São Paulo. The list ranges from common medications, such as dipyrone and acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), to others for continuous use, such as losartan potassium and the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide.
There is also a lack of supplies for carrying out blood tests and adult diapers.
Camargo says that he returned empty-handed once more the last time he went to UBS, on the 1st of the last day. In addition to his prescriptions, which also contain acetylsalicylic acid and atenolol, there were those of his 94-year-old father, who was also hypertensive.
In a statement, the Municipal Health Department confirms the shortage throughout the city, but says it has an emergency purchase process in progress for the purchase of supplies and medicines and that it has already started to replenish stocks throughout the network.
João Vicente da Silveira, cardiologist and general practitioner at Hospital Sírio-Libanês, says that the situation of those who interrupt the use of medication to control blood pressure can be serious.
“Without the drug, the body loses control and it [pressão] it tends to go up a lot,” he says. “The risks of stroke and arrhythmia are great and the patient may have a sudden death,” he explains.
Silveira also highlights that “the heart can dilate and the kidney suffer consequences that over time lead to kidney failure”. The doctor also mentions that discontinuing the use of hydrochlorothiazide can cause acute pulmonary edema.
Community leader Cláudio Freitas, 49, has been collecting testimonies from patients who pass through health facilities in the west side and are unable to take medicines home or undergo tests. “Last week, it was not possible to do a blood test at UBS Jardim São Jorge due to lack of input”, he says.
The very list of medications that you cannot get, according to the community leader, can be used as a warning. The list, among others, includes the antidepressant sertraline and an ointment for diaper rash, in addition to geriatric diapers for the 84-year-old father, who is no longer available either.
“Poor people here are taking money from food to buy medicine, as they can’t find it at the health center,” he says.
As the report found through the website Aqui tem Remedies, city hall service to show the medicines available at health centers or where they can be found, and in calls to UBSs in all regions of the capital, amlodipine besylate 5 is still missing. mg, also to control blood pressure, and prednisone, used for various treatments, such as allergy, rheumatologic and respiratory diseases.
According to Ricardo Nunes (MDB), the Health Department released R$ 41,371,890.32 for the purchase of inputs. More than R$ 52,606,309.09 are being invested in the purchase of medical supplies and medicines, he says.
The secretariat says that it purchased the medications sertraline 50 mg, losartan potassium 50 mg, hydrochlorothiazide and gliclazide 60 mg, and that the entire network has already been supplied, although the website here has a remedy says they are in short supply.
At UBS Boracea, in the region of Santa Cecília (downtown), an attendant stated by telephone this Friday morning (10) that there was no 50 mg sertraline, 50 mg losartan potassium or hydrochlorothiazide.
According to the secretariat, stocks are replenished according to the schedule made by the folder’s supply sector. “Upon availability, the units carry out the relocation between the municipal network equipment.”
Also according to the folder, the change in consumption caused by the pandemic caused significant changes in purchasing processes, because of the increase in prices and the scarcity of products on the market.
“As a result, all purchasing routines were adapted, through the execution of new contracts due to the increase in demand or short-term supply, due to the variation in the prices of inputs in the market, significantly harming the supply chain”, says excerpt from the note from the secretariat.
About the lack of geriatric diapers, the city says it has a purchase process for 11.2 million units, between sizes P, M, G and EXG.
“The acquisition and receipt should take place in the next few days and all units will be supplied,” he says. “Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a lack of raw material for making the diapers, as part of the material was used to produce aprons used to fight the disease.”
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