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Open Access Publications from the University of California


California Health Professional Student Alliance (CaHPSA) is UC Berkeley’s premier health advocacy student organization, dedicated to healthcare advocacy and the empowerment of student leaders. Through CaHPSA, members publish research papers on pertinent topics in health policy. We believe that health and healthcare are universal rights. With advocacy and outreach efforts, we can change the healthcare system in California. 

California Health Professional Student Alliance (CaHPSA)

There are 7 publications in this collection, published between 2023 and 2024.
Research Papers (7)

Socioeconomic Disparities within Drug Pricing and Strategies Moving Towards Equitable Access

In our paper, we encompass the topic of socioeconomic disparities intrinsic to drug pricing and look at ways to ensure that every individual in the United States can access antibiotics equally and equitably. In the United States, a multitude of individuals find themselves struggling with high, out-of-pocket costs for necessary antibiotics or medications.  These issues are generally caused by factors surrounding monopolistic drug markets, high costs for development, and the severity of disease that an individual is facing. We explore these challenges from a plethora of perspectives, such as; the role of specialty pharmacies, limited distribution networks, and the usage of psychotropic medications among youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). High prices and restricted access of certain antibiotics for conditions like Hepatitis C highlight the systemic and intrinsic issues within the pharmaceutical industry and how it affects individuals who suffer from this disease or diseases similar to it. On a similar topic to that, ongoing shortages of ADHD medications continue to show the consistent and heavy impact of supply constraints amongst the pharmaceutical industry in the United States. We discuss potential solutions, including but not limited to, accelerating the approval of basic drugs, implementing ceiling prices to prevent high costs, and better integrating health-system specialty pharmacies. By concentrating on the need for policy reforms within the United States and collaboration amongst the various stakeholders that remain involved with drug pricing disparities, this study aims to offer a varied approach in reducing drug pricing disparities and making necessary medications accessible to every individual in the United States, regardless of socioeconomic or health status.

Surge of Incarceration Rates for Women Requires Reform of Healthcare System

As the number of incarcerated women in the United States increases, it is important to address the persistent lack of care for women’s health. Research is only beginning to be done on how the health needs of incarcerated women are equal or even greater than that of non-incarcerated women. In and out of prisons, proper reproductive care is a basic, undeniable human right to have. In this literature review, we aim to raise awareness about the current state of reproductive care in prison settings. Comprehensive reproductive care includes access to sexual health supplies, menstrual products, prenatal care, and OB-GYN appointments, which are currently almost absent or dismally deficient in prisons. When considering the population of incarcerated women, it is important to keep in mind the systemic inequalities that have already made women of these socioeconomic backgrounds more susceptible to harm due to an inability to access health insurance and higher risks for infectious diseases. Preventative medical care such as STI testing and quality menstruation products, in addition to prenatal care for expecting mothers, is severely lacking. The experiences of transgender women reveal inadequacies in structural policies and consideration for mental health. In order to reform our prison systems to become more rehabilitative, we propose implementing structural interventions that account for a comprehensive reproductive healthcare system within prisons. This includes the enforcement of stricter accreditation for physicians working in prisons, utilization of telehealth, and comprehensive sexual and reproductive care protocol.

Survey of Significant Factors Preventing Complete Enforcement of Mandatory Vaccination

In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying outbreaks, the controversy of mandatory vaccination is again brought under scrutiny. Although it has been well researched within the scientific community that vaccination is a simple and safe procedure, it continues to face outlash and distrust within societal communities. This literature review is a study of the current perspectives within pro and anti vaccination groups. From childhood illnesses to vaccine production, school mandates to minor consent, these and many more factors influence the current outlook and attitudes of the American general public towards vaccines. From this examination, we propose an actionable solution for the government, public health officials, and individual people. By fact checking widely held myths about vaccination and enforcing stricter standards in academic spheres for life threatening illnesses, we can improve the overall health and livelihood of our communities. In today’s public health crisis, it is paramount for people to understand the methodology behind mass immunity and also provide alternatives to those who may have valid reasons against vaccination.

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