Rep. Charlie Brown’s legislation on pharmacy deserts goes to Gov. Holcomb for final approval

March 5, 2018 Charlie Brown

INDIANAPOLIS – Representative Charlie Brown’s (D-Gary) efforts to quell the rising numbers of pharmacy deserts across Indiana has drawn support from the Indiana Senate, and now moves to Governor Eric Holcomb to be signed into law.

House Bill 1382 urges the Legislature to study ways to eliminate pharmacy deserts across Indiana.

“There is a huge problem in my district where citizens do not have access to the prescription drugs they need to stay healthy and alive,” Rep. Brown said. “This is a growing issue and I know that Gary is not the only town where Hoosiers don’t have access to their medication. I am glad that the Legislature is in support of my bill to help come up with solutions to this growing issue.”

A pharmacy desert is an underserved area where access to a pharmacy is limited by:

–At least 25 percent of households in a rural town or urban neighborhood living below the federal income poverty level.
–The median family income of these residents is not more than 80 percent of the median family income of Indiana.
–A rural town, metropolitan census tract, or urban neighborhood in which at least 500 residents or at least 33 percent of the population live more than one mile from a pharmacy.
–A nonmetropolitan census tract in which at least 500 residents or at least 33 percent of the population live more than ten miles from a pharmacy.

“There is currently only one pharmacy in the Miller Beach neighborhood in Gary, and people are struggling to access their medications due to lack of transportation to other pharmacies,” Rep. Brown continued.

“Creating a study committee to research this issue and come up with solutions for the lack of pharmacies in rural and urban areas across Indiana would be beneficial to Hoosiers who are currently struggling to get their medications.

“Everyone deserves proper access to their medications, and with nearly 70 percent of Americans on at least one prescription drug, establishing the study committee will be a step in the right direction to help Hoosiers,” he said.