Pharmacy desert study by Outcomes published on JAMA Network Open

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Pharmacy desert study by Outcomes published on JAMA Network Open

ORLANDO, Fla.— August 15, 2023 —A new study, co-authored by Jessica Adams, PharmD, and Maimuna Bruce, PharmD, MBA, MS, Pharmacist Members of the Outcomes Regulatory Affairs team, was published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association Network Open. The publication, titled State Telepharmacy Policies and Pharmacy Deserts, recognizes the correlation between pharmacy access and telepharmacy.

The cohort study examined the changes in telepharmacy policies in 12 states between 2016 and 2019. Among these states, eight were considered intervention states, where telepharmacy policies were adopted in either 2017 or 2018. Four states were classified as control states, where no changes in policy were observed.

“This work finds that reducing the regulatory burden on telepharmacy practice decreases the number of pharmacy deserts and the population living in them, increasing medication access for these communities, and potentially improving health. We also find that these telepharmacies are twice as likely to be in medically underserved areas, further demonstrating the importance of these types of pharmacies for vulnerable communities,” said Benjamin Urick, PhD, PharmD, study author.

These findings indicate that states seeking to expand pharmacy access should consider adopting less restrictive policies regarding telepharmacy. The publication follows a series of news about pharmacy closures nationwide, resulting in the emergence of pharmacy deserts in communities. Patients living in these areas must travel longer distances to receive their medications and engage with a pharmacist.

When referring to the study results, Jessica Adams said, “[they] emphasize the opportunity for telepharmacy to increase access and restore pharmacy services to patients. We hope that our analysis provides guidance to states considering the adoption of telepharmacy, as states that implemented less restrictive policies elicited the greatest impact on patients.”

To read the full study on JAMA Network Open, click here.

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Jessica Adams

Director, Regulatory Affairs