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Utilization of Prescription Medications and Ancillary Pharmacy Services among Rural Elders in West Texas: Distance Barriers and Implications for Telepharmacy

Author: BRIAN COLLINS, TYRONE F. BORDERS, KRISTEN TEBRINK, and KE TOM XU
Published in JHHSA, Vol. 30 No. 1

We examine the relationship between distance and access to
prescription medications and ancillary pharmacy services among rural
elders in west Texas. Further understanding this relationship is
important because programs such as telepharmacy are largely justified
on the basis of reducing distance barriers. We use data from the Texas
Tech 5000 survey to evaluate the relationship between distance and
access. In addition, we examine whether regulations that prohibit
competition between independent pharmacies and telepharmacies
create a distance barrier to prescription medication. Our findings
suggest that distance is a barrier to access, but telepharmacy regulations
in Texas do not exacerbate the impact of distance.

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