Advocacy Pharmacy Practice

HHS Enforces Healthcare Anti-Discrimination Protections, Improves Access to Medication Therapy

Published: May 14, 2021

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that it will enforce protections against discrimination toward LGBTQ individuals, which had been the subject of ongoing litigation since their initial publication in 2016.

Last June, in Bostock vs. Clayton County, the Supreme Court ruled that individuals have a right not to be discriminated against on the basis of sex and to receive equal treatment under the law, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. HHS’s implementation of LGBTQ protections and support for access to nondiscriminatory healthcare operationalizes the Bostock decision.

ASHP applauds HHS’s decision to enforce anti-discrimination policies. ASHP has long been committed to addressing health disparities in our country, including those impacting the LGBTQ community, in order to expand medication access and optimize therapeutic outcomes. ASHP is also working to address vaccine and medication-related disparities in care during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Taking steps to address discrimination as a barrier to care, including medication therapy, allows hospitals and health systems to provide higher quality care for all patients by ensuring that care and treatment are tailored to meet individual patient needs.

“It is crucial that we prioritize actions that make healthcare and the patient care services of pharmacists  accessible, and that no one is discriminated against in any way,” said Tom Kraus, ASHP’s vice president of government relations. “ASHP is pleased to see HHS take this important step to protect LGBTQ patients and allow greater access to medications and optimized drug therapy.”

ASHP will continue to keep our members informed on our ongoing advocacy efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, and address health disparities within the healthcare system.

Posted May 14, 2021

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