Locating Community Pharmacies (Independent and Chain) in Rural America

Research center:
Project funded:
September 2005
Project completed:
November 2007
Project staff will develop a database and maps of all rural U.S. pharmacies for use by policymakers and rural researchers. Rural definition will be determined via the established Rural Urban Commuting Code schema. The database will include the following data variables at a minimum: pharmacy name, pharmacy type (chain or independent), town, ZIP code, county, state, RUCA code, and Federal Information Processing Standards numbers for all spatial variables. Maps showing national, regional, and state configurations of the pharmacy data will be constructed. The tabular listing created for the mapping process will also be formatted so as to make the data usable in most widely used statistics and geographic information systems (GIS) software packages. The maps and database products will be made openly available on the Center's Web site. In addition the data sets will be offered for use on the Rural Policy Research Institute's Community Informatics and Resources Center GIS Web site and the Rural Assistance Center's data and information Web site. Use of the maps and data sets will help to assess the impact of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 on rural pharmacies and beneficiaries, and will enable the study of predictors of utilization, service quality, and access to rural pharmacy services nationally. On the basis of this research, the RUPRI Center will publish maps and policy briefs.


  • Reliance on Independently Owned Pharmacies in Rural America
    Policy Brief
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 11/2007
    This policy brief provides locations of independently owned pharmacies in rural America that are the sole sources of access to local pharmaceutical services. In more than 2,000 rural communities, the only local pharmacy is independently owned, and in 1,044 of those communities, there is no other pharmacy within 10 miles.