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Revista de la Facultad de Medicina

Print version ISSN 0120-0011


PORTILLA-PINZON, Alfredo; LOPEZ, José Julián; MONTOYA-CANON, Mauricio  and  MACHADO-ALBA, Jorge Enrique. Evaluation of prescriptions authorized between 2010 and 2011 through judicial protection in Bogotá. [online]. 2016, vol.64, n.4, pp.679-685. ISSN 0120-0011.


Judicial protection (tutela in Spanish) is a legal tool used to ensure the right to health in Colombia.


To evaluate the therapeutic rationale of drug prescriptions authorized through judicial protection for patients enrolled in the General Social Security Health System.

Materials and methods:

Descriptive study with retrospective collection of information from databases and patient records associated with medications ordered by court action against three health insurers in Bogotá, D.C., during 2010 and 2011. Prescription, consumption, doses, therapeutic duplication, risk of interactions and costs were considered.


Information of 3 469 patients who requested 2 419 prescribed drugs through judicial protection was obtained; the most common drugs were anticonvulsants (10.7%), vitamins (10%), lipid-lowering medications (5%) and anti-diabetic drugs (4.8%). In 75.5% of cases the drug was correlated with the diagnosis and 66% of patients were exposed to drug interaction risks. Greater therapeutic duplication was observed in non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and antihypertensive drugs. The average cost of each dispensation per judicial protection issued was estimated at COP 453 221 (USD 236.5).


Therapeutic rationality issues are evident in prescription drugs ordered by judicial protection, which may involve greater risks to the health of patients. A more rigorous scientific advice is recommended in order to avoid possible interactions and therapeutic duplications.

Keywords : Pharmacoepidemiology; Drug Interactions; Drug Utilization; Drug Prescriptions; Colombia (MeSH)..

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