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Building a more just and equitable health care system

PhRMA believes that diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential to the discovery of new medicines and that every individual and community should have equitable access to medicines and treatments. We are working to support and elevate community-centered solutions to health inequities and policy solutions to reduce disparities.

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Nearly $500,000 awarded to community-based projects

The Collaborative Actions to Reach Equity (CAREs) grants aim to support community-centered solutions to address health inequities through grant to community-led organizations and academic centers. These awards support local and national research and activities to drive meaningful change to advance health equity.

Health inequities impede access to medicines

Health Equity Chartpack

Explore and download PhRMA's first-ever health equity chart pack. This chart pack spotlights the patient experience in the health care system, recognizing and visualizing the structural and social inequities that underserved communities face when seeking health care services and medicines.

Health Equity Chartpack

Social Determinants of Health Impact Access to Medicines

Addressing Social Determinants of Health

Social determinants of health are circumstances in which people live, learn, work, and play. These factors significantly impact patients’ health outcomes and access to health care. Addressing social determinants of health, including systemic racism, will help reduce health inequities.

Access to Providers and Screenings

Poor Access to Screenings and Diagnostics

Health equity means that all patients have the opportunity to reach their highest health potential – and accessing medicines and health care services is an important part of the equation. Poor access to screenings and diagnostics can delay treatment for cancer and other diseases and worsen outcomes among underserved communities.

Ability to Fill a Prescription

Insurance Barriers to Medication Access

Even for insured patients, high out-of-pocket costs can be a hurdle to medication access. Many common insurance design features leave patients unable to afford their medicines and can disproportionally hinder access for disadvantaged communities.

Health Equity Reports and Agency Comments

Addressing Disparities in Medication Access and Adherence
By PhRMA
Teaser image of the title page of PhRMA's report on Addressing Disparities in Medication Access and Adherence
Teaser image of the title page of PhRMA's report on Addressing Disparities in Medication Access and Adherence
Addressing Disparities in Medication Access and Adherence
By PhRMA

Access to prescription medications helps patients manage their health conditions, decreases avoidable health care costs, and reduces mortality. However, marked inequities in access to medicines disproportionately impact underserved populations.

Teaser image of the first page of PhRMA's report on how insurance barriers contribute to unequal health care disparities
Report: Insurance Barriers Contribute to Health Disparities Among Commercially Insured Americans
By PhRMA

As health insurance benefit designs increasingly shift prescription drug costs to patients or impose other barriers to access, the impact disproportionately falls on people of color. This report outlines how many common commercial health insurance benefit design features create barriers to access medicines.

Understanding Medicine Abandonment as a Barrier to Health Equity
Understanding Medicine Abandonment as a Barrier to Health Equity
By PhRMA

In the United States, nearly one in ten new prescriptions were never picked up at the pharmacy in 2020. However, medicine abandonment does not impact all populations equally. This can lead to worse health outcomes for these patients and further contribute to existing gaps in health equity.

Advancing Health Equity Through Improved Data Collection: A Call to Action
Report: Advancing Health Equity Through Improved Data Collection
By PhRMA

Closing the gaps in equitable access to health care begins by understanding where they are and who they affect. To facilitate this visibility, public health officials, health plans, hospitals, and other stakeholders require detailed data on the prevalence and drivers of health disparities. However, at present, these data sets are rarely robust or complete.

As part of our commitment to health equity, PhRMA has prepared the following report — and call to action — on the causes of critical health data gaps and how the public and private sector can join us in closing them and reducing health disparities.

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Comments on Congressional Social Determinants of Health Caucus Request for Information
By PhRMA

Consistent with our priority of building a more just, equitable health care system, PhRMA believes that diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential to the discovery of new medicines and that people of all ethnic and racial backgrounds should have equitable access to treatment.