TULUM, Mexico – The tranquil coastal town of Tulum has been witnessing a surge in the number of pharmacies in recent years. While this may not be a cause for immediate concern, health authorities are urging the public not to resort to self-medication and to seek professional medical advice for any health issues they may encounter.
Jorge Gutiérrez Contreras, the Deputy Director of Health Services at the Ministry of Health, emphasized the importance of not engaging in self-care practices to prevent potential complications arising from various ailments. He expressed his belief that the proliferation of these commercial establishments wouldn’t pose a significant threat to public health. Instead, he views it as a convenient means of accessing medication. However, he stressed that obtaining medication should follow a consultation with a healthcare professional.
The exact statistics regarding the increase in the number of pharmacies in Tulum have not been provided by the Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris). Nevertheless, a recent survey indicates a notable surge in these businesses, including not only well-known names like Similares and YZA but also other pharmacies in the central area of Tulum.
Before the onset of the pandemic, Tulum had a total of 12 pharmacies in the municipal center, with eight of them situated along the bustling Tulum Avenue. Two more were located in the Mayapax neighborhood and one in the Ejido area.
However, since 2020, there has been a notable increase in the number of pharmacies in Tulum, with as many as eight new ones opening their doors. Among these newcomers are Drugstore and Pharmacy, with six of them strategically positioned on the main avenue.
It’s worth noting that following complaints from concerned citizens, the Mexican Navy (Semar) and Cofepris conducted an operation in early August. This operation resulted in the suspension of activities and the confiscation of products being sold without proper authorization. In some cases, counterfeit or adulterated products were found, and it was discovered that the pharmacies’ record-keeping practices were not up to date. This crackdown affected 23 pharmacies in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum in the state of Quintana Roo. In Tulum, the affected establishments included Drugstore Pharmacy, Farmacia Tulum Centro III, Farmacia Tulum Coba, and Farmacia Tulum Europea.