Doctors Adjacent to Private Pharmacies: The New Ambulatory Care Provider for Mexican Health Care Seekers
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© 2017 Background In 2010 Mexican health authorities enacted an antibiotic sale, prescription, and dispensation bill that increased the presence of a new kind of ambulatory care provider, the doctors adjacent to private pharmacies (DAPPs). Objectives To analyze how DAPPs¿ presence in the Mexican ambulatory care market has modified health care seekers¿ behavior following a two-stage health care provider selection decision process. Methods The first stage focuses on individuals¿ propensity to captivity to the health care system structure before 2010. The second stage analyzes individuals¿ medical provider selection in a health system including DAPPs. This two-stage process analysis allowed us not only to show the determinants of each part in the decision process but also to understand the overall picture of DAPPs¿ impact in both the Mexican health care system and health care seekers, taking into account conditions such as the origins, evolution, and context of this new provider. We used data from individuals (N = 97,549) participating in the Mexican National Survey of Health and Nutrition in 2012. Results We found that DAPPs have become not only a widely accepted but also a preferred option among the Mexican ambulatory care providers that follow no specific income-level population user group (in spite of its original low-income population target). Our results showed DAPPs as an urban and rapidly expanded phenomenon, presumably keeping the growing pace of new communities and adapting to demographic changes. Conclusions Individuals opt for DAPPs when they look for health care: in a nearby provider, for either the most recent or common ailments, and in an urban setting; regardless of most socioeconomic background. The relevance of location and accessibility variables in our study provides evidence of the role taken by this provider in the Mexican health care system.