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Pharmacoequity: Now what?

Pharmacoequity disparities - they're a big deal. They can mess with women and minorities' access to medication in all sorts of sneaky ways. Let me give you a taste:


Ladies, brace yourselves. You might face more hurdles when it comes to accessing specialized services. Yup, that's right. We're talking about gender inequalities that go beyond biology. It's all about those pesky social differences. And don't get me started on the fact that women still don't have equal representation in health research, even after 25 years of regulators calling for it. Can someone say frustrating? When it comes to therapies, the odds might not be in our favor, ladies. We're more likely to face danger and have lower chances of success. According to the FDA, from 2004 to 2013, women in the US experienced over 2 million drug-related adverse events, while men clocked in at just 1.3 million. Seriously?


Now, let's talk about racial and ethnic minorities. They've got their own set of challenges. Barriers are all too real when it comes to accessing prescribed drugs for chronic conditions. And get this - they use fewer health care services compared to their white counterparts. That's not fair, right? Insurance, medication underuse, cost - these are just some of the hurdles minorities have to face in the pursuit of medication. And guess what? Disparities in medication use can mess with their progress, leading to missed goals, more hospitalizations, and even decreased survival rates.


Oh, and let's not forget about prescriber bias - conscious or not. It's a real issue. Black patients with severe chronic conditions could find themselves receiving fewer pain medications compared to their white peers. Yeah, you heard that right. Prescribing patterns can even vary based on someone's race. It's a wild world out there.


So, what can we do about this? Taking a deep dive into your plan designs for example is a good place to start. Drugs are often placed in tiers due to financial incentives of the PBM and not giving a darn about patients access leading to what is is termed "adverse tiering". Situations like this abound often restricting access to medication that deals with ailments more prevalent in particular groups or gender. Sucks, but the good news is we can do something about it, together.


Got more questions? I'm all ears. Let's dive deeper into the consequences of pharmacoequity disparities for women and minorities.

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