Researchers from the University of Southern California found that almost 15 million people living in urban areas were affected by pharmacy deserts in 2015.
Pharmacy deserts are defined as neighborhoods over one mile away from a pharmacy. And that distance is decreased to over half a mile for low income areas.
These pharmacy deserts were more likely to be located in black or Hispanic city neighborhoods
Researchers say that the inability to easily access pharmacies may help explain why black and Hispanic populations are more disproportionately affected by health disparities.
But researchers also say there may be ways to change this
Policies that improve access by providing incentives for chains to open up in these pharmacy deserts could be a start.