by: Annie Carver, Esq.
“Health inequities are difference in health status or the distribution of health resources between different populations or groups arising from the social condition in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age.” There are many health inequities that are associated with disability – caused by stigma, discrimination, poverty, exclusion from education and employment, and other barriers within the healthcare system. One health inequity that is rarely named for people with disabilities is lost time, or the time cost associated with being disabled. There is a time cost associated with navigating welfare and healthcare systems, coordinating medical care, and managing personal care and symptoms. On top of that, public inaccessibility and legal barriers isolate disabled people from their greater community; therefore, disabled people often have to navigate the complicated coordination of their care without the support system that many non-disabled people enjoy. These time barriers also tend to disproportionately impact those with multiply marginalized identities, particularly people of color and queer people.Continue reading
By Tracy Waller, Esq., MPH
“If it’s COVID, Paxlovid.” Or is it? Pfizer launched its most recent commercial for Paxlovid in February 2023 and has gone full throttle into its advertisement of the drug. Pfizer first received Emergency Use Authorization (“EUA”) for Paxlovid in December 2021 and then received a revised EUA in February 2023. The commercial touts the drug as a “miracle” drug of sorts. On November 6, 2022, the Office of Veterans Affairs released a study showing that Paxlovid can reduce the risk of symptoms of long COVID. Pfizer includes in its commercial for the drug, as required, that certain classes of people are excluded from taking Paxlovid based on negative drug interactions; however, the gravity of the number of people who are ineligible to take the drug is not readily apparent and leaves large swaths of the United States’ (“US”) and global populations without access to this life-saving drug. The lack of access to Paxlovid for the people most vulnerable to COVID-19- the elderly, people with disabilities, and other immunocompromised people – emphasizes the need for pharmaceutical companies to focus on developing treatment options that meet the needs of so many of those left behind.Continue reading
Christina Eguizabal Love, Psy.D.
Director of Health and Language Access
Office for Health, Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity (O-HEID)
Kennedy Krieger Institute
In the United States, about 1 out of 5 people speak a language other than English at home,1 which equates to nearly 65 million individuals. Those with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) do not speak English as their primary language and have limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English.2 Providing language access means ensuring that individuals with LEP can communicate effectively to participate in and receive healthcare, an important component of culturally competent services.3 In fact, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and corresponding regulations, including the Affordable Care Act (ACA), indicate that federal agencies and those receiving federal financial assistance are required to provide meaningful access to services for LEP individuals via trained interpreters, translation services, and more.Continue reading