Lack of Access to Medication

By Margaret Harris

What health inequality do you see as a big issue in your community?

A health inequality I see as a major issue in my community is the accessibility to medication. As a pharmacy technician in one of Englewood’s few pharmacies, there is not one shift where I do not have to turn someone away for medication because they could not afford it. Sometimes I am able to guide them to OTC (Over The Counter) medications that they can take until they are able to arrange the proper finances, however, when it comes to prescriptions like insulin or steroids, there is never much I can do. As these heart-wrenching situations continued to occur, I started to investigate some of the causes. I realized that most of the patients I saw had insurance, but their public aid refused to pay for the medication. For others, I saw that they did not even know how to get insurance, let alone schedule a primary care physician. 

I believe that all patients should have accessibility to medications without their income levels posing a burden. I feel that the best ways to target this problem should include creating more initiatives like Prescriptions Savings Club and Good RX. In conjunction, with working with public aid to ensure that patients can afford their medications, especially those for life-threatening conditions. Lastly, hosting public health campaigns to raise awareness for medication affordability will stress the urgency of this health inequity. Increasing the access to medication will not only help the life expectancy and health of our community, but it will be a step closer to closing the inequality gap within healthcare.

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