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Report Reveals Disparities in Pharmaceutical Treatment for Minority Patients
Date:5/12/2009

WASHINGTON, May 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new report from the National Minority Quality Forum finds that appropriate medications for a variety of diseases often are under-prescribed, over-prescribed, or mis-prescribed for African Americans, Hispanics and Asian Americans. This comprehensive review of studies on medication use in U.S. minority groups, entitled Origins and Strategies for Addressing Ethnic and Racial Disparities in Pharmaceutical Therapy: The Health-Care System, the Provider, and the Patient, reveals disparities in treatment of minority patients with cardiovascular illness, asthma, psychiatric illness, pain and other conditions.

The report, authored by Richard Levy, Ph.D., Robert C. Like M.D., M.S., and Harry S. Shabsin, Ph.D., finds disparities in access to medications through insurance programs, in the prescribing of medications and in adherence to medication regimens. The report offers recommendations for health-care planners and advocates, clinicians and health-care organizations to improve prescribing and use of medications in a diverse society.

"Since medications are a cornerstone of treatment for many diseases, addressing unequal or inappropriate medication use should be a focus for practitioners and organizations committed to the goal of eliminating health-care disparities. We hope this report raises awareness of the extent of medication disparities and will stimulate solutions to address the problem," said Dr. Like, Professor and Director of the Center for Healthy Families and Cultural Diversity of the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

The report points out that improving access to and use of medications in diverse groups requires policies that enable affordable, personalized therapy. Ethnic/racial background should, like other factors such as age or gender, be considered in selecting drugs and dosages, in the composition of drug formularies and preferred drug lists,
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SOURCE National Minority Quality Forum
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