PhRMA’s Social Determinants of Health Simulation

By João L. Carapinha

November 1, 2023

Let’s look into an insightful article by Kristin Williams, published on October 27, 2023. The piece shines a light on the structural barriers patients encounter when trying to access and afford medicines.

Community-level factors strongly impact healthcare access, the research shows. Nearly 40% of US counties are pharmacy deserts! These shocking numbers highlight the difficulties many encounter in accessing drugs.

The article then discusses PhRMA’s Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) simulation. This novel application lets users follow a patient’s journey and demonstrate how structural and social variables impact life-saving pharmaceutical access.

Better pharmaceutical access and adherence might save the U.S. $3.8 trillion in medical bills and lost productivity. It shows how much tackling healthcare inequality matters.

It appears that insufficient insurance coverage considerably affects care access. Though true for many, insurance alone isn’t a panacea. High out-of-pocket prices, complicated approval processes, and restricted prescription formularies are common even with coverage. Thus, while insurance is important, we must also address healthcare structural challenges.

Kristin Williams’ post challenges us to address healthcare’s structural barriers and promote a more fair system. We can create a healthy future in the US and other countries.

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