Pills in paradise: Exploring international lifestyle and retirement migrants’ perceptions of the pharmaceutical sector on Cozumel Island, Mexico

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Abstract

International lifestyle and retirement migration is a growing phenomenon, yet little is known about migrants’ experiences of health care in destination countries. This includes use of and access to pharmaceutical selling establishments. This article explores international lifestyle and retirement migrants’ experiences and perceptions of the local pharmaceutical sector on Cozumel Island, Mexico. Qualitative data, collected through semi-structured interviews (n = 26), finds that participants are concerned with accessibility, quality and communication within the island's pharmaceutical sector. Subsequent analysis suggests that these concerns arise through comparison with previous health care environments and that migrants attempt to remedy them by spatially reorganising their pharmacy engagements through practices which may contribute to adverse health outcomes.

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