NCPA, USC School of Pharmacy Collaborating on Pharmacy Access Initiative

Partnership to examine scope and effects of ‘pharmacy deserts,’ closures and offer sustainable remedies

NCPA September 9, 2021

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Sept. 9, 2021) – The National Community Pharmacists Association is pleased to announce a multi-year effort with the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy and Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics to address growing concerns about barriers in pharmacy access, including closures.

The Pharmacy Access Initiative will generate real-time information for national, state, and local policy officials, health care academics, industry leaders, and others to identify communities lacking in pharmacy access. Better data on the proliferation of so-called pharmacy deserts could help policymakers and industry leaders and, ultimately, underserved communities. This research is already underway and should begin being released in the coming months.

NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, pharmacist, MBA said, “We know that many patients live within 5 miles of a pharmacy, but what about those who don’t? What about those with mobility or transportation limitations or other challenges where 5 miles might as well be 500 miles? Where could they access COVID-19 vaccines or other needed health care services? What can be done to help these communities have access to pharmacy care? These are the types of questions we’re looking to help answer through our Pharmacy Access Initiative partnership with USC. We’re grateful for this opportunity to collaborate on such an important issue for patients across the country.”

USC’s Dima M. Qato, PharmD, MPH, PhD, Hygeia Centennial Chair and Associate Professor of Pharmacy and Spatial Sciences and Senior Fellow with the USC Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics said, “Despite growing concerns about barriers in pharmacy access, including closures, national, state and local policy officials often lack the evidence-base to promptly respond to, and inform, regulations or legislation to protect neighborhoods and pharmacies most at-risk. Therefore, the goal of this new USC-NCPA Pharmacy Access Initiative is to serve as resource for federal and state policy and public health officials by conducting research and generating real-time evidence on the scope and impact of the problem of pharmacy access and identifying sustainable policy solutions to address it.”

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About NCPA

Founded in 1898, the National Community Pharmacists Association is the voice for the community pharmacist, representing over 21,000 pharmacies that employ approximately 250,000 individuals nationwide. Community pharmacies are rooted in the communities where they are located and are among America’s most accessible health care providers. To learn more, visit www.ncpa.org.

About USC

Founded in 1905, the USC School of Pharmacy has played a key leadership role in both the advancement of the field of pharmacy and in the education of new generations of pharmacists, and remains one of the nation’s foremost schools of pharmacy today. The school is a partner in the USC Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics, whose mission is to measurably improve value in health through evidence-based policy solutions, research excellence, and private and public-sector engagement. To learn more, visit pharmacyschool.usc.edu and healthpolicy.usc.edu.

NCPA