A study to identify availability and prices of medicines, according to type of provider, was conducted in the five regions of Brazil. A list of medicines to treat prevalent diseases was investigated, using the medicines price methodology developed by the World Health Organization and Health Action International, adapted for Brazil. In the public sector, bioequivalent (vis-à-vis reference brand) generics are less available than multisource products. For most medicines (71.4%), the availability of bioequivalent generics was less than 10%. In the private sector, the average number of different bioequivalent generic versions in the outlets was far smaller than the number of versions on the market. There was a positive correlation between the number of generics on the market, or those found at outlets, and the price variation in bioequivalent generic products, in relation to the maximum consumer price. It is estimated that price competition is occurring among bioequivalent generic drugs and between them and multisource products for the same substance, but not with reference brands.