Medicines can be critical to treating, managing, and sometimes curing illnesses, thereby offering an effective tool to improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities. However, numerous studies demonstrate that certain racially and ethnically diverse populations exhibit lower utilization of and adherence to medicines than their white counterparts.1,2,3 For example, even after accounting for socioeconomic status, Black and Hispanic insured Americans are 35% less likely to be adherent to medicines for diabetes or heart disease as compared to white Americans.4
Beneath the surface of these disparities, there are many social determinants that impact a patients’ ability to be diagnosed, treated, and adherent to recommended medicines. Social determinants, such as income, living in a medically underserved area, transportation, health care coverage, out of pocket costs, accessibility of health care providers, discrimination, and biased interactions, all have an impact on the accessibility of medicines.5
Ensuring equitable access to good health will require taking a comprehensive picture of the social determinants that impact a patient’s ability to access the care and medicines they need. Because social determinants are experienced locally, practical solutions to addressing these factors should be garnered from within local communities.
In this fourth round of CAREs grants, we seek to support solutions that promote access and better health outcomes by removing economic, social, and other barriers to medicine. We are interested in specific interventions that promote medicine access and better health outcomes by removing economic, social, and other barriers to medicine access.
We look forward to partnering with you.
1. Mehta KM, Yin M, Resendez C, Yaffe K. Ethnic differences in acetylcholinesterase inhibitor use for Alzheimer disease. Neurology. 2005 Jul 12;65(1):159-62. doi: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000167545.38161.48. PMID: 16009909; PMCID: PMC2830864.
2. Lauffenburger JC, Robinson JG, Oramasionwu C, Fang G. Racial/ethnic and gender gaps in the use of and adherence to evidence-based preventive therapies among elderly Medicare part D beneficiaries after acute myocardial infarction. Circulation. 2014; 129:754–763.
3. Schmittdiel JA, Steiner JF, Adams AS, et al. Diabetes care and outcomes for American Indians and Alaska natives in commercial integrated delivery systems: a SUrveillance, PREvention, and ManagEment of Diabetes Mellitus (SUPREME-DM) Study. BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care. 2014;2(1):e000043. Published 2014 Nov 17. doi:10.1136/bmjdrc-2014-000043
4. Xie Z, et al. “Racial and ethnic disparities in medication adherence among privately insured patients in the United States.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6375669/
5. Access to Care: Development of a Medication Access Framework for Quality Measurement. Pharmacy Quality Alliance. March 2019. https://www.pqaalliance.org/assets/Research/PQA-Access-to-Care-Report.pdf