Florida Study finds Prescription Drugs Cost More in Poor Areas

Four of the most widely prescribed drugs in the United States can cost 15 percent more on average in the poorest neighborhoods of Florida, according to a study comparing retail pharmacy prices around the state.

Part of the explanation is the high proportion of independent pharmacies in poor ZIP codes that charge the highest prices for Nexium, Advair, Plavix, and azithromycin, said Walid Gellad, lead study author and an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.

In contrast, the study shows that chain pharmacies are less expensive and less likely to vary their prices based on ZIP code. However, they are also less common in poorer areas.

The authors noted that some independent pharmacies in poor neighborhoods did charge prices similar to chain pharmacies, but that issues such as health literacy, finances, and transportation could limit consumers from shopping around.

The study appears in the latest online issue of the journal Health Services Research.

Even small price increases have negative consequences, and two earlier studies found that the cost of prescription drugs discourages uninsured and poor people from filling their prescriptions. As a result of not controlling their health, they spend more time in emergency rooms.

"Insuring the uninsured is a priority," Gellad said. "However, uninsured people who pay retail prices for their medications and struggle with health care costs should not face higher prices because of where they live. Even though these variations are based on data from only one state, they deserve further investigation."

Bruce Stuart, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, said that, "although the authors focus on retail drug prices, the study shows four times more pharmacies in wealthy ZIP codes than in poor ones. Expanding health insurance coverage will not address that problem."

For more information, go to www.blackwell-synergy.com/loi/hesr.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • Steps to Conduct a JSA

    We've put together a comprehensive step-by-step guide to help you perform a job safety analysis (JSA), which includes a pre-built, JSA checklist and template, steps of a JSA, list of potential job hazards, and an overview of hazard control hierarchy.

  • Everything You Need to Know about Incident investigations

    Need some tips for conducting an incident investigation at work after there’s been an occupational injury or illness, or maybe even a near miss? This guide presents a comprehensive overview of methods of performing incident investigations to lead you through your next steps.

  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Industry Safe
Bulwark CP

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - November December 2020

    November December 2020

    Featuring:

    • COLD STRESS
      Managing Cold Stress
    • TRAINING: FALL PROTECTION
      Providing Training for Fall Protection
    • PPE: HEARING PROTECTION
      Eight Tips for Hearing Testing Day
    • FACILITY SECURITY
      Incorporating COVID-19 Protections into Safety Programs
    View This Issue