The term that could explain this situation could be ‘Pharmacy Desert’. According to a new study, in one out of three cities in major cities of the United States, there is a lack of pharmacy, resulting lack of medicines and health-related equipment whatsoever. Another interesting fact that arose was this situation tends to be common among Hispanic and black communities.
Scarcity Of Pharmaceutical Products In Every 1 Out Of 3 Neighborhoods In Major U.S. Cities
Furthermore, research is required to get to a conclusion. The question that may arise is, what did researchers mean with the term ‘Pharmacy Desert’? They segregated it into 2 different sectors. If a neighborhood with more vehicles (transportation facilities) didn’t have a pharmacy in the range of 1 mile or so, then it is considered a Pharmacy desert. At the same time, the distance of calculation was reduced to half a mile if it was analyzed in a neighborhood with almost no transportation facility.
“Traveling a mile to get your prescription medications may be convenient for people that own a car. Traveling a mile, or even half a mile, may be difficult for people who live in low-income neighborhoods and don’t drive, particularly older adults who rely on walking or public transportation,” this was quoted by Dima Mazen Qato, who is the co-author of the above-mentioned study. This statement was made in a news release at the university.
Dima MazenQato is an associate professor in the school of pharmacy. The researchers took into accounting data of 8 years ranging from 2007 to 2015. The data includes neighborhood/tracts of cities with a population of 500 thousand or more.
They gave an open statement after analyzing the data that “one in three neighborhoods throughout these cities were pharmacy deserts, affecting nearly 15 million people,” the statement was made by Jenny Guadamuz, who is another co-author of the study.
This made people realize their situation and considered that the term ‘Pharmacy desert’ was not just havoc but bitter truth. Understanding the requirement of a pharmacy is more important than other available resources.
Traveling a mile or so can be easier in a car or a vehicle, but what would a neighborhood with minimal alternatives do? The above-mentioned study brought up a great point and an alert towards taking action, especially in this pandemic.
“However, limited access to pharmacies disproportionately impacts racial/ethnic minorities — 8.3 million Black and Latino residents of these cities live in deserts,” this statement was weighed in by Guadamuz, another resident in the School of Pharmacy.
A list of cities that were at the urge of urgent pharmacy services and had the worst gap differences are Chicago, Memphis, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Albuquerque. Dima Mizen stated, “We focused on cities because of racial/ethnic residential segregation and the fact that more than 80% of the Black and Latino population in the U.S. live in cities”.
He added, “Our findings suggest that addressing disparities in geographic access to pharmacies — including pharmacy closures — is imperative to improving access to essential medications and other health care services in segregated minority neighborhoods”.