Brown proposal addresses problems caused by Indiana pharmacy deserts

January 18, 2018 Charlie Brown

INDIANAPOLIS – Representative Charlie Brown (D-Gary) has authored a bill in an attempt to help Hoosiers gain improved access to their prescriptions.

House Bill 1382 urges the legislature to assign topics in a study committee concerning pharmacy deserts in rural and urban areas of Indiana.

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

      — At least 25 percent of the households in a rural town or urban neighborhood are 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 lives more than one mile from a pharmacy.

      — A nonmetropolitan census tract in which at least 500 residents or at least 33 percent of a population lives more than ten miles from a pharmacy.

“There has been a series of closings of Walgreens in my district,” Rep. Brown commented. “Now the most vulnerable of my constituents are left with no access to their medication due to being unable to travel the long distances to a different pharmacy.”

The legislative study committee would have the ability to examine the public and private programs in Indiana that address the issues of pharmacy deserts in Indiana, as well as attempting to identify solutions that can be effective in eliminating pharmacy based deserts and identifying potential sources of income for a pharmacy desert program.

“Nearly 70 percent of Americans are on at least one prescription drug, and leaving these citizens without the ability to get to their medications is an issue that needs to be resolved as soon as possible,” Rep. Brown commented.