A Pilot Study of Access to Pharmacy Service to an Adult Mexican Migrant Worker Population in Albany, Oregon

TitleA Pilot Study of Access to Pharmacy Service to an Adult Mexican Migrant Worker Population in Albany, Oregon
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsAndrade, Christina
Academic DepartmentGeneral Science
Thesis AdvisorKhanna, Sunil; Zweber, Ann
DegreeBachelor of Arts in International Studies in Pre-Pharmacy
Number of Pages67
Date PublishedJune 2005
UniversityOregon State University
Thesis TypeUndergraduate
KeywordsMexico, migrant worker, pharmacy

The focus of this thesis is to investigate and determine barriers that exist that limit Mexican migrant access to pharmacy services in Albany, Oregon. Effective health care is composed of three significant elements: examination, diagnosis and treatment that included the negotiation of a medical regimen with the particular patient. Pharmacy plays a pivotal role in both the final treatment and initial care for self-treatable conditions and this is essential to proper medical care.

Two personal experiences raised the question regarding whether there are actual differences between how Mexican migrants utilize a pharmacy in the United States versus Mexico. While working in Mexico, I observed Mexicans utilizing their local pharmacy as a primary source of both medical advice and subsequent medicines. Conversely, while working at the Albany InReach Clinic in Oregon, I observed the average Mexican client using pharmacy services on a limited basis- and in some cases not at all.

This project is a qualitative study utilizing survey questions to investigate potential barriers confronting the Mexican migrant utilization of the U.S. pharmacies as a primary-care resource. Spanish-speaking migrants visiting the Albany InReach Clinic were asked to participate in a pharmacy access survey to better understand the perceptions of differences between access to pharmacy services in the United States and in Mexico.

Twenty-six Spanish-speaking migrants participated in the survey. A majority of the informants identified linguistic and cultural barriers to utilizing U.S. pharmacy services. Over 10 percent of the respondents were not able to fully understand proper medication administration after filling a prescription. Additionally, 16.7 percent indicated experiencing an adverse reaction.
Conclusions are twofold:
• Cultural and linguistic barriers exist for the migrant Mexican population when attempting to use pharmacy services in the United States.
• A high percentage of the Mexican migrants are filling prescriptions and taking medications without fully understanding the instructions.