While pharmacies play a frontline role in community well-being, nearly one in four U.S. neighborhoods lack convenient access to pharmacies, and hundreds of pharmacies close their doors every year. These pharmacy deserts contribute to persistent racial and ethnic health disparities.
Why is this happening, and what can be done to ensure access to vital pharmacy services, including administering vaccines, prescribing contraceptives and dispensing naloxone for the prevention of a fatal overdose?
A panel of USC experts explores these trends, what drives them and what can be done about them. The discussion features U.S. Representative Diana Harshbarger (TN-1), who has been a licensed pharmacist since 1987; Ronna Hauser, PharmD, senior vice president of policy and pharmacy affairs at the National Community Pharmacists Association; and Dima Qato, senior fellow at the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics. It is moderated by Karen Van Nuys, executive director of the Value of Life Sciences Innovation research program at the USC Schaeffer Center.
Who Will Benefit
– Those seeking deeper insights on why pharmacies are closing
– Pharmacy students hoping to learn more about the direction of their industry
– Those looking to learn more about pharmacy deserts
About Our Featured Faculty
Dima Mazen Qato, PharmD, MPH, PhD, serves as the Hygeia Centennial Chair in Clinical Pharmacy and associate professor in the USC Titus Family Department of Clinical Pharmacy. She has also been appointed as a senior fellow with the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics. Qato is currently leading the Program on Medicines and Public Health within the USC Titus Family Department of Clinical Pharmacy. At the USC School of Pharmacy, she develops and leads interdisciplinary research efforts focusing on drug utilization, access to medicines and pharmaceutical policy both in the U.S. and globally to better understand why medications are used, or not used, and how they can and should be used in the population to promote equity, longevity and good health. Qato’s research utilizes population-based methods to better understand the underlying mechanisms responsible for the use, underuse and unsafe use of medications, how these patterns may influence health outcomes and health disparities, and what can be done from a community and policy perspective to address these growing public health problems.
Karen Van Nuys, PhD, is the executive director of the Value of Life Sciences Innovation program and a senior fellow at the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics. Her recent research focuses on the pharmaceutical distribution system and the impact of intermediaries’ business practices on prescription drug utilization and cost. Van Nuys has held positions across both industry and academia, including as principal and priority service offering director at Booz Allen Hamilton, senior research economist at Precision Health Economics, national fellow at the Hoover Institution and an assistant professor at the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester. She has consulted with Fortune 50 companies ranging from insurance providers and life sciences companies to automotive manufacturers and media conglomerates. She received her PhD in economics from Stanford University, and her MA and BA degrees from the University of California, San Diego.