Pharmacy patronage among the elderly: Selected racial and geographical patterns

Gary W. Shannon, Ellen K. Cromley, Joseph L. Fink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


In the United States the number of elderly and their percentage of the total population continues to increase. The large majority will never require care in an institution, yet they are faced with increasing health problems and decreased mobility, and almost half require prescription drugs to pursue activities of daily living. In this paper selected patterns of pharmacy patronage among a sample of elderly are presented. Overall, the percentage of elderly requiring prescriptions reflects national estimates and no significant difference is found in the expressed need for prescriptions between black and respondents. 'Neighborhood' pharmacies are perceived as being very important, but relatively few use the most geographically convenient. Nevertheless, the large majority of elderly are satisfied with distances they presently have to travel to purchase prescriptions. The observed travel patterns for prescription purchases suggest that conventional wisdom pertaining to the nature of the pharmacy journey, the notion of convenience and the traditional concept of neighborhood among the elderly should be reexamined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-93
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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