As coronavirus restrictions make it more difficult to cross the border, some
Before the pandemic, Salcido would regularly cross the border and purchase her insulin at half the price. With a new baby in the house — her granddaughter — she doesn't want to risk exposing her family to the coronavirus. So she's paying the extra money to purchase the medicine at regular cost at a local pharmacy.
"I'm just being extra cautious because I have this baby here. I have a responsibility to her. I can't be getting her sick because I went to
Though crossing the border to purchase medications is considered essential by Mexican authorities, longer border waits and concerns over exposure have discouraged southbound trips.
Prescription drug costs can be so much cheaper in
"This insulin pen is
Patients with type 1 diabetes must take insulin every day to survive. The autoimmune disease prevents the pancreas from making insulin needed to regulate blood-sugar levels. Some type 2 diabetes patients still produce the hormone insulin on their own, but need additional blood-sugar regulation and also use synthetic insulin.
According to the
Cost isn't the only reason people cross the border for medicine, Guzman says. Another factor is the amount of time people have to take off work in
Physician Jesús Abraham Sánchez Frehem, president of the Colegio Médico de
"Unfortunately, it's a societal problem we have here in
Salcido agreed that quick access to medical care, not just the cost of her medication, brings her south of the border.
"I've learned that the medical care is just better over there," she said, referring to
One of her children had a high fever, keeping Salcido from being able to go to work.
"I took her to the doctor three times. They just kept saying: 'Give her Tylenol and she'll be better in a couple days.' But she didn't get better," she said.
After the process went on for weeks, Salcido decided to take her daughter to see a doctor in
"We got right into to a doctor without an appointment, and they gave her one shot of antibiotics, and literally she was better within 30 minutes," said Salcido.
This picture of efficient medical care in
The majority of Mexican citizens receive health care through the government — either through the
It's the country's private hospitals, clinics and pharmacies that provide the health care some argue is better than in
The pharmacy where Guzman works, located about 200 yards from the
"They come here because in
Sosa said his business had dropped off significantly since border restrictions went into effect on
"I would say it's down by about 80 to 90 percent," he said. Even as
His blood-pressure medicine, which he needs to prevent complications if he were infected by the coronavirus, costs more than three times more on the
"The difference in price is absurd," he said.
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