Pharmacy products: Other countries have even softer standards

Mark Viales

by Mark Viales

When heading to the pharmacy in Gibraltar it is normal to purchase prescription painkillers followed by some of the unhealthiest products on the market, sugary drinks. There are also sweets, power bars and energy drinks that contain harmful substances as well as a cosmetics section that may not fall under the strictest guidelines. It all has to do with the country’s regulations in place and, although Gibraltar has its shortcomings in this area, other counties have even softer standards.

It is possible to find cigarettes sold across the majority of pharmacies in the South of Mexico and Guatemala, but the United States is also guilty of the same hypocrisy. The US is still trying to ban cigarettes on sale in certain pharmacies and will put new measures in place in New York as from January 1 next year. Just in time for people to quit smoking as a New Year’s resolution.

The change will affect about 500 pharmacies currently selling tobacco products and reduce the total number of retailers licensed to sell tobacco by about 6.4%. This is not the first time that pharmacies or businesses that contain pharmacies used loopholes in the law to sell harmful products in such establishments. The sale of e-cigarettes, that were previously marketed as a safer alternative have now also been branded as a health hazard and are now banned in pharmacies.


There are numerous harmful products sold in pharmacies that are known to cause cancer and contain vast amounts of sugar, yet are within reach of lifesaving ones.