Healthy Community, Healthy Economy: The Pharmacy Effect on the Kansas Economy
Did you know that in 2020, the amount of total health care expenditures in the state of Kansas is projected to be $4.2 billion? According to Dr. John Leatherman of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University, that projection will soon become a reality.
The study conducted by Dr. Leatherman is titled “The Importance of the Health Care Sector to the Kansas Economy.” The research includes figures from several health care sectors across the state. One of the sectors is the “Health and Personal Care Store” sector and according to Leatherman that includes pharmacies.
Economic impact for a state or community is determined by three key factors: wages, sales, and employment generated by businesses. Health care services is a big reason why businesses and professionals choose a specific community to work in. Employees and business developers may not choose to work in a community that has substandard, inconvenient, or unaffordable health care services, such as a lack of pharmacies.
Pharmacies, especially in rural areas of the state, are also critical to preserving the population base – especially retirees who depend on access to adequate health care services and spend a substantial amount on prescriptions as well as other health care costs.
Thus, having strong health care providers like independent pharmacies (which are often the primary source of health care in rural areas), is critical to driving local and state economies.
According to Leatherman, in 2016, the Kansas economy generated approximately $344 billion in sales. Services (including health care) was the largest economic sector, accounting for 36.5 % of total sales for the state. The health care sector employed over 220,000 people in Kansas. Of that, 10,708 were employed in the Health and Personal Care Store sector and that sector alone earned over $1 billion for the state that year.
Strong and sustainable health care access is critical not only for the health and wellbeing of a community but to enhance the economic vitality of that community as well. Pharmacies, particularly independent pharmacies, are at the forefront of driving economic success in communities throughout the state of Kansas.