Heart failure prescription fills linked to neighborhood resources

A physician talks to a man in a medical setting.

Up to 40-50% of people living with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) don’t fill a prescription for medication, which can signficantly reduce their risk for hospitalization and death. To identify barriers in obtaining HFrEF medication, researchers from New York retrospectively reviewed data from more than 6,000 adults with heart failure living in and around New York City. They found that about five in 10 adults living in underserved areas filled a prescription for HFrEF compared to six in 10 adults living in areas with additional resources. 

The study also revealed that access to transportation and the number of pharmacies located in an area weren’t associated with filling prescriptions. The ability to walk to a pharmacy played a small role in prescription fills. Therefore, the investigators note more research is needed to identify potential barriers, such as cost, discrimination, or pharmacy hours, that may deter people from receiving HFrEF medication. 

The study was funded by NHLBI and published in JAMA Network Open.