Predominantly Black and Hispanic urban areas are more likely than white neighborhoods to see local pharmacies close and are more likely to be pharmacy deserts. In Chicago, one pharmacist is bucking the trend, operating the drugstore his father opened in the 1960s in a Black neighborhood.
Stores like Walmart and Shopko opened pharmacies in small towns, either buying out the local pharmacy or driving it out of business. What happens when those chains later withdraw, leaving communities with no pharmacy?
Independent pharmacists who want to retire often have trouble attracting new pharmacists to take over their practices, particularly in rural areas. That can cause smaller towns to lose their pharmacies. With many pharmacists near retirement, the problem may only get worse.
More than 1,000 independent rural pharmacies have closed since 2003, leaving 630 communities with no retail drugstore. As 41 million people stuck in pharmacy deserts make do, the remaining drugstores struggle to survive.
Las farmacias de las esquinas, que alguna vez estuvieron tanto en las grandes ciudades como en los pueblos rurales, están desapareciendo de muchas áreas del país, dejando a unos 41 millones de estadounidenses en lo que se conoce como “desiertos de farmacias”, sin fácil acceso a las farmacias.
Pharmacy benefit managers have curtailed in-person audits of pharmacy claims during the pandemic, switching to virtual audits done by computer. That has markedly increased the number of claims they can review — and the chances for payment denials — squeezing pharmacies and bringing in more cash for the benefit companies.
Using detailed maps that show vaccination rates down to the ZIP code or census tract level, health departments highlight areas of greater Denver where vaccinations lag behind state or county averages, then partner with community organizations to overcome barriers. Can this be a model for President Joe Biden’s “neighborhood by neighborhood” approach?
In a suburb of Denver, a doctor runs a clinic that finds creative solutions to treat a large refugee and immigrant population, sometimes to the dismay of the medical establishment.
As more independently owned community pharmacies close, a Colorado town is crowdsourcing ways of getting prescription medicines delivered to those who can’t travel the long distance to the closest pharmacy. But even those stopgap measures don’t always work.
Walden, en Colorado, ha sufrido el destino de muchos pueblos pequeños, ya que la economía ha dificultado la supervivencia de las farmacias comunitarias.