Pharmacy and prescription drugs

Research Products & Journal Articles

Browse the full list of research publications on this topic completed by the Rural Health Research Centers.

Products – Freely accessible products include policy briefs, fact sheets, full reports, chartbooks, and interactive data websites.

Journal Articles – Articles in peer-reviewed journals may require a subscription or affiliation with a subscribing library. For these publications, Gateway lists the article citation, a brief summary, a link to additional information and access to the full-text of the article, if available.

2021

2020

  • Telepharmacy Rules and Statutes: A 3-Year Update for all 50 States
    Policy Brief
    Rapid Response to Requests for Rural Data Analysis, RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 07/2020
    This policy brief analyzed administrative rules and legislative statutes governing each state's pharmacy practice. Key features of telepharmacy regulations were investigated for comparative analysis. Twenty-one states currently authorize retail telepharmacy, but between these states the regulatory activity varies considerably.
  • Rural and Urban Differences in Primary Care Pain Treatment by Clinician Type
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 04/2020
    In this brief, we compare 2017 opioid prescribing rates among physicians and nurse practitioners within primary care practices and how these differ for rural versus urban areas.
  • Early-Career and Graduating Physicians More Likely to Prescribe Buprenorphine
    Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
    Date: 01/2020
    Only a small percentage of people who need treatment for opioid use disorder receive it, including buprenorphine. This paper shows differences in rates of prescribing buprenorphine and intentions to prescribe buprenorphine between early- and mid-to-late career family physicians, based on a survey of physicians taking a certification examination.
  • Practice Predictors of Buprenorphine Prescribing by Family Physicians
    Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
    Date: 01/2020
    Physicians may prescribe buprenorphine if they obtain a waiver, but relatively few family physicians do so. This paper examines the association between practice characteristics and the likelihood that a family physician will prescribe buprenorphine, based on a survey of physicians seeking board certification in family medicine.

2018

  • Update: Rural/Urban Disparities in Pneumococcal Vaccine Service Delivery Among the Fee-for-Service Medicare Population, 2012-2015
    Policy Brief
    Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
    Date: 11/2018
    Delivery of pneumococcal vaccines to fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries increased 380% from 2014-2015 as a result of uptake of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13). However, a significant rural-urban disparity remains. Pharmacy providers delivered a significantly greater proportion of vaccines in rural versus urban counties.
  • Update: Independently Owned Pharmacy Closures in Rural America, 2003-2018
    Policy Brief
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 07/2018
    Rural pharmacies play an important role in health service delivery to rural populations. This RUPRI Center brief updates previous findings on the continued decline in the number of independently owned rural pharmacies since the implementation of Medicare Part D. This brief provides follow-up data on rural pharmacy closures through March 2018.
  • Telepharmacy Rules and Statutes: A 50-State Survey (Journal Article)
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 05/2018
    Peer-reviewed paper identifying state-enacted regulations and legislation authorizing use of community telepharmacy initiatives and describing implications for patients in underserved rural communities. Also provides a table listing states that permit telepharmacy, and pilot programs and waivers that enable telepharmacy initiatives.
  • Rural/Urban Disparities in Pneumococcal Vaccine Service Delivery Among the Fee-for-Service Medicare Population
    Policy Brief
    Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
    Date: 02/2018
    Using 2014 Medicare data, we found a significant disparity in pneumococcal vaccine service delivery to fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries. Although primary care providers delivered the majority of pneumococcal vaccines to this population, pharmacy providers delivered a significantly greater proportion of vaccines in rural versus urban counties.
  • Illicit Drug and Opioid Use Disorders Among Non-Metropolitan Residents
    Policy Brief
    Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
    Date: 01/2018
    We provide estimates of the prevalence of illicit drug and opioid use disorders among non-metropolitan adults ages 18-64. Prevalence rates did not decline from 2011-2013 to 2014-2015 despite the implementation of major substance use treatment policies. Of particular concern, heroin use disorder prevalence increased in recent years.
  • Perceived Treatment Need and Utilization for Illicit Drug and Opioid Use Disorders in Non-Metropolitan Areas
    Policy Brief
    Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
    Date: 01/2018
    The vast majority of non-metropolitan adults 18-64 who satisfy criteria for an illicit drug use or opioid use disorder do not perceive a need for treatment or receive formal substance use treatment. Despite policies to increase treatment access during the 2008-2015 study period, we found few changes in perceived treatment need and utilization.

2017

  • Financial Issues Challenging Sustainability of Rural Pharmacies
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 08/2017
    Findings from a survey of rural lone community retail pharmacies about issues perceived as a threat to their sustainability. Reimbursement issues were cited as being most immediate and of highest magnitude.
  • Barriers Rural Physicians Face Prescribing Buprenorphine for Opioid Use Disorder
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 07/2017
    Opioid use disorder is a serious public health problem. Management with buprenorphine is an effective medication-assisted treatment, but 60.1% of rural counties lack a physician with a Drug Enforcement Agency waiver to prescribe buprenorphine. This national study surveyed all rural physicians who have received a waiver in the United States.
  • Identifying Adverse Drug Events in Rural Hospitals: An Eight-State Study
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2017
    Analyzes the prevalence of Adverse Drug Events (ADEs) in rural hospitals, including both CAHs and rural PPS hospitals, related to four categories of drugs: steroids, antibiotics, opiates / narcotics, and anticoagulants in 2013 for eight states. It also examines whether or not these hospitals' ADE rates varied based on hospital characteristics.
  • Resources to Reduce Adverse Drug Events in Rural Hospitals
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2017
    This policy brief provides resources that could be used to decrease Adverse Drug Events (ADEs) in rural hospitals.
  • Issues Confronting Rural Pharmacies after a Decade of Medicare Part D
    Policy Brief
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 04/2017
    This brief reports on a survey of very rural independent pharmacies designed to assess threats to their sustainability. Major, immediate issues included delays in updates to maximum allowable costs (MACS), charges for remuneration fees, competition from mail order pharmacies; and, status as a "non-preferred pharmacy" for Medicare Part D plans.
  • Telepharmacy Rules and Statutes: A 50-State Survey
    Policy Brief
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 04/2017
    This is summary analysis reviews administrative rules and legislative statutes governing the practice of telepharmacy in all 50 states. Telepharmacy is specifically authorized in 23 states and 16 states have no rules or legislation authorizing telepharmacy. Other states have pilot programs or waivers that would enable telepharmacy.

2015

  • Characteristics of Rural Communities with a Sole, Independently Owned Pharmacy
    Policy Brief
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 05/2015
    This brief describes the populations of rural communities with single independently owned pharmacies. About 2.7 million people, more than 25% of whom live below the poverty level, live in 663 rural communities with sole independently owned pharmacies. For about 70% of these rural communities, the next closest pharmacy is more than 10 miles away.
  • Geographic and Specialty Distribution of US Physicians Trained to Treat Opioid Use Disorder
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 01/2015
    Examines the distribution of physicians authorized to treat opioid use disorder in the United States, and proposes increasing access to office-based treatment as a promising strategy to address rising rates of opioid use disorder in rural areas.

2014

  • Update: Independently Owned Pharmacy Closures in Rural America
    Policy Brief
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 06/2014
    This brief examines the closure of independently owned rural pharmacies in the United States from 2003 to 2013 and its effects on rural Americans' access to medications and other pharmacy services. This report is an update to past publications from RUPRI.

2013

2012

  • Stand-Alone Prescription Drug Plans Dominated the Rural Market in 2011
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 09/2012
    This report shows that as of May 2011, 59.1% of rural Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in Medicare Part D through insurance plans that provide coverage for prescription medications. It also provides further detail, including urban and rural enrollment by type of plan and by state.

2011

  • Independently Owned Pharmacy Closures in Rural America, 2003-2010
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 06/2011
    This policy brief provides information about the closure of rural, independently owned pharmacies, including pharmacies that are the sole source of access to local pharmacy services, from 2003 through 2010.

2010

2009

2008

2007

  • 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.
  • One Year In: Sole Community Rural Independent Pharmacies and Medicare Part D (Findings Brief)
    North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center, RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 10/2007
    This brief describes the experiences of 51 rural independently-owned pharmacies that are the sole providers of pharmacy services in their communities one year after implementation of the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit.
  • One Year In: Sole Community Rural Independent Pharmacies and Medicare Part D (Final Report)
    North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center, RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 09/2007
    This report describes the experiences of 51 rural, independently owned pharmacies that are the sole providers of pharmacy services in their communities one year after implementation of the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit.
  • Rural Hospitals' Experience with the 340B Drug Pricing Program
    Policy Brief
    NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis, North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    Date: 09/2007
    This policy brief describes the results of surveys of rural hospitals participating in the 340B drug-pricing program and of rural eligible but non-participating hospitals. It includes information on factors affecting participation in the program and the benefits and challenges of participation.
  • 340B Drug Pricing Program: Results of a Survey of Participating Hospitals
    NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis, North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    Date: 05/2007
    This report presents survey results of pharmacy directors at rural hospitals buying discounted outpatient drugs through the 340B program. The purpose was to understand the perspectives of pharmacy directors on the 340B program, the program's financial impact, and which program features presented barriers to its broader implementation.
  • 340B Drug Pricing Program: Results of a Survey of Eligible but Non-Participating Rural Hospitals
    NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis, North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    Date: 01/2007
    This paper summarizes the results of a 2006 survey of pharmacy directors at rural hospitals that are eligible but currently not participating in the 340B Drug Pricing Program, which enables certain types of safety-net organizations to obtain discounted outpatient medications.
  • The Experience of Rural Independent Pharmacies With Medicare Part D: Reports From the Field
    North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center, RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 2007
    Describes first-hand reports from rural pharmacist-owners about their experiences with Medicare Part D plans in the first 7 months of 2006 in order to gain a more thorough understanding of the challenges faced by rural independent pharmacies as a result of program implementation.

2006

2005

2004

  • Definition of Rural in the Context of the MMA Access Standards for Prescription Drug Plans
    North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center, RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 09/2004
    This study assesses how the definition of rural affects the potential impact of the access standards in the Proposed Rule to implement Title I of the MMA and finds that the congressional objective to achieve convenient access to pharmacies (other than mail order) would be more fully realized if the Proposed Rule definition of rural is changed.

2003

2001

  • Access to Rural Pharmacy Services in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 07/2001
    This paper describes the status of rural retail pharmacies in the three states; examines the availability of pharmacy services in rural areas of the states; and analyzes regulatory and policy issues that affect the delivery of pharmacy services in rural areas.

2000

  • Designing a Prescription Drug Benefit for Rural Medicare Beneficiaries: Principles, Criteria, and Assessment
    Maine Rural Health Research Center, RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 08/2000
    This paper offers a rural perspective on the debate about the design/implementation of a Medicare prescription drug benefit. Background information on rural Medicare beneficiaries' need for, and access to, prescription drugs is provided, along with a set of rural-oriented principles for use in evaluating how various proposals may meet rural needs.
  • Improving Prescription Drug Coverage for Rural Medicare Beneficiaries: Key Rural Considerations and Objectives for Legislative Proposals
    Maine Rural Health Research Center, RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 06/2000
    This policy paper combines the work from current projects of the Maine Rural Health Research Center and the Rural Health Panel of the Rural Policy Research Institute to provide a statement of specific rural considerations and objectives for any proposal that would add a prescription drug benefit to the Medicare program.
  • Medicare Reforms: The Rural Perspective
    NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis
    Date: 04/2000
    This policy analysis brief discusses Medicare reforms considered by the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare (created by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997), including prescription drug coverage, funding graduate medical education, and increasing the eligibility age.