NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

CLOSING THE HEALTH CARE GAP FOR HISPANIC AMERICANS

October 6, 2006

Pharmaceutical researchers are developing new medicines for diseases that disproportionately affect the nation's 42.7 million Hispanic Americans, according to a report by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

Some of the highlights include:

  • Some 73 new medicines being brought out to fight HIV and AIDS, which Hispanic Americans disproportionately account for 20 percent of news cases.
  • In 2003, breast, colorectal, lung and prostate cancers were the leading cancer killers of Hispanic Americans; now there are 178 potential medicines to help treat these conditions.
  • Hispanic Americans are nearly twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as non-Hispanic whites; there are 66 medicines in the pipeline to combat this disease.
  • Between the ages of 35 and 64, Hispanic Americans have a higher risk of having a stroke than non-Hispanic whites; companies have 24 medicines for stroke coming to the market.

However, according to the Pew Hispanic Center/Kaiser Family Foundation, there are problems many Hispanic Americans still face:

  • Nearly 75 percent either lack health insurance coverage themselves or know someone who is uninsured.
  • Some 15 percent did not get medical treatment they needed, while 20 percent postponed treatment they could not afford. 

To help close the health care gap, these quality and access problems must be addressed alongside the advances made in diseases that disproportionately affect Hispanic Americans.

Source: Editorial, "Survey Finds 581 Medicines in Development for Major Diseases That Disproportionately Afflict Hispanic Americans," Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), September 25, 2006.

 

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