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INDIANAPOLIS — A measure to study pharmacy deserts statewide with a task force of experts has failed to move forward in the Indiana General Assembly.

A state senator from Gary, Indiana filed Senate Bill 319 after a FOX59 investigative report in 2020.

We found that 60% of Indianapolis communities don’t have a neighborhood pharmacy, according to a USC study.

Lawmakers planned to study the issue in a committee back in 2018, but FOX59’s Beairshelle Edmé found the study never happened.

2018 Indiana House measure on pharmacy deserts

After her interview, State Senator Eddie Melton (D-Gary) pledged a renewed effort to address this issue. In January 2021, he proposed a measure to create a task force, but it didn’t move forward in the Health and Provider Services Committee.

The democrat says it’s not an excuse, but believes a stacked short session made it difficult for the bill to move forward.

“I’m going to bring it back again next session. I think what I’m proposing is better than a typical summer study committee,’ he explained. “We allow these professionals to come together and to study this issue that not only impacts urban communities, like myself, but also rural communities across the state.”

Melton has already started bi-partisan outreach for another chance at this effort.

FOX59 will stay on top of our investigative findings, and bring you updates on this effort.