Objective: The aim with the present study was to evaluate availability and accessibility to medicines in Primary Health Care in Northeast Health District, Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Method: It was an epidemiological, descriptive and cross-sectional study, conducted in the central warehouse and in twenty Primary Health Care units. The data was collected through direct observation, in information systems and in a survey with patients. Indicators proposed by World Health Organization were used to analyze the availability and accessibility. Results: The average availability of essential medicines from a key list in stock observed in visits in Primary Health Care units was 98,3 ± 3,7% and in the past 12 months was 42,5 ± 13,6%. One thousand and three hundred eighty-three medicines were prescribed to patients and 1066 (77,1%) of them were actually dispensed. An association of the presence of medicine in Essential Medicine List with dispensing of medicine was observed (p=0,00). It was observed that 93,2% of patients spent until 30 min in the way from their residence to Primary Health Care unit. Conclusion: The conditions of availability of medicines in stock in visits and the accessibility to services in PHC were satisfactory; however, limitations were observed in yearly availability of medicines and in the attendance of patient`s needs for prescribed medicines. Actions are recommended to improve availability of medicines such as the adoption of the Essential Medicine List.
Key words: Health Services Accessibility, Pharmaceutical Services, Primary Health Care.