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Geospatial Analysis Center

Pharmacy Accessibility Analysis for Minnesota Residents, changes from 1992-2002 and
Pharmacy Accessibility Analysis for Residents in Region 25 (10 states)

Funded by the Community Pharmacy Foundation.
Stacey Stark (GISL), Jon Schommer (UM Pharmacy)

New pharmacies are built and older ones closed to serve growing populations and changing city geographies in Minnesota. To explore what demographics have been affected by longer driving distances to pharmacies over a decade of change, a “closest facility” analysis was done using ArcGIS 9.1 Network Analyst tools in ModelBuilder. Network analysis is particularly useful to this study in Minnesota, where many lakes result in a driving distance quite different from a straight-line distance. Routes were generated from the center of each census block to the closest pharmacy in 1992 and in 2002 using Census 2000 blocks for the entire state. Scripting was completed in Python to batch process the approximately 175,000 blocks in 87 counties. The data were aggregated by counties, block density, and urban areas to reveal geographic trends of increasing and decreasing distances to the closest pharmacy.

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