Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said on Thursday the government will provide free medicine for diabetes and hypertension to Brazilians, starting from mid-February.
The measure is part of the Popular Pharmacy Program, which grants discounts to over 100 types of medication for diseases, such as Parkinson, osteoporosis, glaucoma and asthma.
The government will cover 90 percent of the expense of the medicine and the patient pays the rest.
In order to receive the free medicine, patients must show the doctor’s prescription and identification at the pharmacy.
The free medicine was one of Rousseff’s campaign promises. According to the president, offering free medicine is a step forward to eradicate poverty in Brazil.
The Health Ministry estimated that over 33 million people, or 17 percent of Brazil’s population suffer from hypertension and some 7.5 million suffer from diabetes. The two diseases are responsible for 34 percent of the deaths in the country.