Jane Delgado, president and CEO, National Alliance for Hispanic Health, outlines the group's efforts to educate Hispanics about medicine
What are you currently focusing on?
Our knowledge of the Hispanic community indicates that individuals prefer to resolve their own health issues. As more than one in three Hispanics do not have a regular source of healthcare, it is the consumer group most likely to take over-the-counter medicines.
From our focus groups, we found many Hispanic consumers do not check to see if their medicines contain acetaminophen [a drug ingredient in more than 600 over-the-counter and prescription medicines], and are not aware of the health risks associated with taking too much acetaminophen.
To raise awareness on the importance of safe medicine use among Hispanic consumers, the alliance partnered with the Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition and the group's Know Your Dose Campaign.
What were key messages for the effort?
We identified the following messages for consumers: Acetaminophen is the most common drug ingredient in the US.
Taking more acetaminophen than directed can lead to liver damage.
Always read and follow the medicine label. Never take two drugs that contain acetaminophen at the same time, and if you drink alcoholic beverages while taking acetaminophen, you may be at increased risk for liver damage.
How did the alliance perform outreach?
We used our network of community-based healthcare providers to distribute materials to 250 local groups and to pharmacies in the top 25 Hispanic communities. We also utilized radio, TV, print, and social media to post information.
What sort of coverage did you get?
Acetaminophen safety messages were broadcast by more than 100 Spanish-language radio stations, reaching an estimated 6 million radio listeners.
A joint press release from the alliance and the awareness coalition was picked up by more than 160 news outlets and generated approximately 130 million impressions.
Would you say the effort was a success?
Yes. The alliance has since distributed more than 50,000 Spanish-language materials to community centers nationwide. However, this is part of an ongoing effort as we need to change the way Hispanic consumers use medicines.