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Pharmacy Interventions to Improve Generic Over-the-Counter Drug Knowledge and Use

Grant Winners

  • Nisaratana Sangasubana, Ph.D. – College of Pharmacy
  • Jose Calderon, M.D. – College of Pharmacy
  • Goar Alvarez, Pharm.D. – College of Pharmacy
  • Nancy Borja, Pharm.D. – College of Pharmacy
  • Patrick Hardigan, Ph.D. – College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Silvia Rabionet, Ed.D. – College of Pharmacy


  • Andres Malave, Ph.D. – College of Pharmacy
  • Anthony Silvagni, D.O. – College of Osteopathic Medicine


Award Winners

The generic Over-the-Counter (OTC) industry is growing due to increased pressure for health care cost containment. A generic OTC is any nonprescription drug that contains the same active ingredients as the brand name or nationally advertised drug but is cheaper. Given the greater use and wider availability of generic OTCs, there is a need to better understand how consumers' perceptions of generic versus branded OTCs influence their purchase decisions. This understanding is important for improving OTC package labeling and developing strategies to correct public misconceptions of generic OTCs. Pharmacists can also become an important source of OTC advice due to their knowledge, availability and accessibility. This study will employ a randomized controlled trial to test the efficacy of two pharmacy-centered educational interventions on consumers' generic and branded OTC literacy: (1) a 15-minute pharmacist-patient consultation; and (2) an OTC pamphlet adapting consumer information on generic drugs from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration' (FDA) website. A sample of 189 subjects will be recruited from Nova Southeastern (NSU) Clinic Pharmacy. A test-retest method will be used to measure the efficacy of the interventions at baseline (before and immediately after the interventions), and by phone two weeks after baseline. It is hypothesized that patients receiving a face-to-face pharmacist consultation on generic OTCs would have greater post-intervention objective knowledge, higher behavioral intent to use, and higher actual use of generic OTCs. Factors associated with generic and branded OTC use will also be determined. Furthermore, this study will lay the groundwork for the conceptualization and operationalization of consumers' OTC literacy by developing psychometrically sound measures of generic and branded OTC literacy (i.e., knowledge, experiences, beliefs, perceptions and behaviors). Constructs from the Health Belief Model and Self-Efficacy Theory will be used to guide the design of study interventions and measures.

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