Katrin Henry, David R. Axon

A Look into Pharmacy Practices among the Purépecha Indigenous Community

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy

This report describes the adoption and integration of Western medicine in Cherán K’eri after the social changes in the 1940s which led to the transition from healer to pharmacist. There are various health models that rely heavily on community pharmacies. The place used as the basis for this report was a clinic managed by a Purépecha-speaking physician and pharmacist that served primarily monolingual indigenous Purépecha patients, whose population was around 9550 according to the 2010 census. Twelve major differences were observed between community pharmacies in the United States and the community pharmacies of Cherán. It was also observed that the modern approach to the health of the indigenous population used a combination of Western medicine together with traditional methods and only resorted to short-term therapies with Western medicines lasting five days or less. A formulary from the clinic’s community pharmacy compiled in 2022 listed the 38 most common medications. Medications used included anti-infectives (n = 3), central nervous system (n = 2), endocrine/hormonal (n = 3), gastrointestinal (n = 3), musculoskeletal (n = 17), respiratory or allergy (n = 6), and genitourinary (n = 2).

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