Fewer Pharmacies In Minority Neighborhoods

One reason for worse health outcomes for racial minorities could be reduced access to pharmacies. However, how big a problem is pharmacy access? A recent Health Affairs paper by Guadamuz et al. (2021) uses 2007-2015 data from the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) to identify pharmacies, which were then geocoded and linked to…

COVID-19 and racial disparities

On the eve of Martin Luther King Day, let us take a quick look at the impact of COVID-19 by race/ethnicity. CDC reports rates of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. One can see that cases are higher for most minorities (except Asians) relative to Non-Hispanic Whites, but hospitalizations and deaths are much higher for all…

What can pharma do about social determinants of health?

The Milwaukee Bucks–my home town sports team–yesterday boycotted Game 5 of their NBA playoff series. This historical event serves to bring attention to the inequalities African-Americans and other minorities face in our society. In health care, disparities also exist. As I mentioned in my Health Affairs blog piece with Meena Venkatachalam, COVID-19 has highlighted these…

Disparities in COVID-19 hospitalization rates

Azar et al. (2020) use electronic health record data to examine differences in COVID-19 hospitalization rates by patient characteristics. The authors find that: …compared with non-Hispanic white patients, nonHispanic African American patients had 2.7 times the odds of hospitalization, after adjustment for age, sex, comorbidities, and income. These findings echo similar COVID-19-related conclusions across California.…