What’s a street dispensary? It’s “a sort of chemical Babel Tower,” according to Arnaud Robert, who reported on these Haitian pharmacies for the June 2017 issue of National Geographic. But the street vendors are not pharmacists, and their wares are not regulated. This illegal, ubiquitous medical practice can have serious consequences for the health of many Haitians. But, Robert told us, Haitians have very few choices.
“The majority of the population don’t have enough money to buy their medicine in pharmacy stores,” he said. “Street sellers have generic medicines from China, expired pills, counterfeit drugs imported from the Dominican Republic. So basically, they are cheaper than the medicine you’re going to find in the pharmacies.”
Listen to our full conversation with Roberts by clicking the audio player above.