Common Challenges and Barriers to Patients in Accessing Medication

MAY 29, 2019

In this clip, Matthew Pickering, PharmD, RPh, PQA Senior Director of Research & Quality Strategies at Pharmacy Quality Alliance discusses a medication access framework for quality measurement during the recently-held Pharmacy Quality Alliance Annual Meeting in Baltimore, MD.

Matthew Pickering, PharmD: The challenges and barriers that they had mapped to this framework are largely social determinants of health. So, those things around transportation. Transportation was a big factor. And it’s not just getting to a pharmacy, it’s getting to a physician for example. But cost, we know that cost is a big issue with medications and with getting access to a drug. Also with being adherent to it.

But it’s not just the price of the drug, it’s also indirect costs. So, taking time off of work to go see a provider, or cost for day care, or even cost for public transportation if the person doesn’t have their own mode of transportation. But the major factor that we’ve identified across these 7 nodes of access is health literacy. This is a patient understanding their own disease and condition, but also health literacy in understanding their insurance if they have it, or even how they can access certain avenues to gain access to a medication if they don’t have insurance. Health literacy was a major factor in areas to where the health care system can help to improve on that as well.