2024 Incentive Grant Recipient: Aishwarya Venkatachalam, PharmD
Project Proposal: Comprehension of a Drug Facts Label for a Newly Approved Over-The-Counter Hormonal Contraception Pill in English- And Spanish-Reading Populations
Aishwarya Venkatachalam is a Pharmacy Resident with HealthLinc, Inc. in Mishawaka, IN. She graduated from Purdue University.
“The correlation between low health literacy and the subsequent increase in unintended pregnancies and decrease in contraception usage has been a significant motivating factor in advocating for more dependable over-the-counter (OTC) birth control options. Norgestrel, the first of its kind in the United States, received approval from the Food and Drug Administration in July 2023. However, it remains uncertain to what extent patients will grasp the information presented on its drug facts label and whether they will use this medication correctly. This study seeks to employ a knowledge assessment survey to gauge patients' comprehension of the proper and intended use of norgestrel, with a particular focus on understanding potential disparities in comprehension between participants primarily reading in English and those primarily reading in Spanish.”
"In my role at a community health center catering to a predominantly lower health literacy community and number of Spanish-speaking patients, I recognized a significant communication gap with these patients. This project aimed to bridge that divide, fostering inclusivity within our health centers and advocating for standardized OTC labels in languages beyond English. I envision the project's impact extending to the development of OTC drug facts labels in multiple languages, addressing disparities and cultural challenges within our healthcare system."
"Receiving the Incentive Grant is a great honor, and I am particularly excited about the opportunity it presents to delve deeper into understanding how we can better serve patients who rely on over-the-counter products. I am particularly eager to witness the outcomes and their potential to diminish cultural barriers in healthcare, expand access to OTC labels in multiple languages, and lay the groundwork for future studies."