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Now available on iBooks!

“What Pharmacists Need to Know About Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities”, available on iBooks

Available on iBooks - What Pharmacists Need to Know About Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

 

 

 

 

 


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A text for use in public health, health disparities, health services research, and related courses

for pharmacy students in their second, third, and fourth years of training. Discusses the concepts of race and ethnicity and the constructs used to classify and categorize them and provides an overview of the data collected regarding disparities in mortality, morbidity, provision of health care, and other health indicators and epidemiologic studies of mechanisms and pathways. Addresses racial and ethnic health disparities that can occur in real-world pharmacy care, such as differences in disease conditions, response to medication, access to care, health literacy, and understanding of health and medications.

As reviewed in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Print version available on Amazon.com

Pharmacy Deserts – An Emerging Concept

What are pharmacy deserts?

You’ve heard the term “food deserts” – defined by USDA as, “urban neighborhoods and rural towns without ready access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food”. Pharmacy or medication deserts are analogous. The researchers who coined the phrase note they are defined by

“the low availability of the most commonly dispensed prescription medications in these areas.” (Amstislavski et al, 2012).

The concept builds on earlier geographic work examining not only the location of pharmacies, but variations in how pharmacies are stocked in neighborhoods of lower socio-economic status, or neighborhoods with large African-American or Hispanic populations. Researchers (and pharmacy student research assistants) mapped pharmacies in neighborhoods throughout New York City, and obtained information about pricing and stock availability for 13 frequently prescribed medications. They found variability in pricing as well as the pharmacy’s stocking of the prescriptions, and concluded,

“In extreme cases, entire communities could be deemed ‘medication deserts’ because geographic access to pharmacies and the availability of the most prescribed medications within them were very poor.”

Pharmacy deserts

 

Awareness of the role of pharmacies in access to care is growing.

The journal, Health Affairs, just published an article on Pharmacy Deserts in Chicago, “‘Pharmacy Deserts’ Are Prevalent In Chicago’s Predominantly Minority Communities, Raising Medication Access Concerns” (Qato et al, 2014), and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) picked up on this issue in a commendable way, noting that,

“About 32 percent of Chicago’s 802 communities were “pharmacy deserts,” meaning their residents met the researchers’ criteria for both low pharmacy access and low income.”

They also noted that,

“Between 2000 and 2012, pharmacy disparities worsened. While the number of pharmacies (particularly chains) in majority-white communities increased 20 percent during that time period, there was no such expansion in minority communities.”

These recent studies underscore the importance of taking a broad approach when considering access to care and treatments. Patients with insurance coverage may have limited access to care if they live in neighborhoods without pharmacies, or if the pharmacies in their neighborhood don’t stock needed medications.

If you’re interested in the issue of access to pharmacies take a look at these earlier publications:

  1. Bernstein et al., Disparities in access to over-the-counter nicotine replacement products in New York City pharmacies. Am J Public Health. 2009 Sep;99(9):1699-704.
  2. Cooper H, Bossak B, Tempalski B, Friedman S, Des Jariais D. Temporal trends in spatial access to pharmacies that sell over-the-counter syringes in New York City health districts: relationship to local racial/ethnic composition and need. J Urban Health. 2009;86(6):929-945.
  3. Morrison RS, Wallenstein S, Natale DK, Senzel RS, Huang LL. “We don’t carry that”–failure of pharmacies in predominantly nonwhite neighborhoods to stock opioid analgesics. N Engl J Med. 2000;342(14):1023-1026.

Ch 3 Health disparities associated with race and ethnicity

Health disparities statistics

Chapter 3 of “What Pharmacists Need to Know About Race and Ethnicity” presents the data documenting disparities in mortality, morbidity, provision of health care, and other health indicators by race and ethnicity. The attached infographic highlights differences in life expectancy. Students are always startled to see the data and it always provokes questions and interest.

Health disparities statistics

Health disparities occur along the causal pathway from exposures and risk factors to all health outcomes.

The chapter explores disparities in life expectancy, mortality, incidence of disease, risk factors, and access to care, allowing students to explore the disparities along the pathways from causal factors to health outcomes. Students apply their skills in epidemiology, data analysis and statistics and gain a deeper understanding of how health disparities are manifested.

The figures and data are drawn from a range of government sources including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and Health Resources and Services Administration. All provide extensive documentation and resources for further study, such as the CDC Health Disparities and Inequalities Report.

MIE Resource publishes “What Pharmacists Need to Know About Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities”

MIE Resources is proud to announce publication of “What Pharmacists Need to Know About Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities” by Tamar Lasky, PhD,

a text for use in public health, health disparities, health services research, and related courses for pharmacy students in their second, third, and fourth years of training.

Racial and ethnic health disparities

This book, the first of its kind, introduces pharmacy students to basic concepts about race and ethnicity, and the classification of race and ethnicity in the United States for data collection. It then moves on to an overview  of the data collected regarding disparities in mortality, morbidity, provision of health care, and other health indicators and epidemiological studies of mechanisms and pathways to demonstrate the extensive body of evidence describing racial and ethnic health disparities. The text describes mechanisms through which race and ethnicity may affect health outcomes.

After laying a general background, the text addresses racial and ethnic health disparities that can occur in real-world pharmacy care, such as differences in disease conditions, response to medication, access to care, health literacy, and understanding of health and medications. It concludes with a discussion of the pharmacist commitment to eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities.

Available at amazon.com

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