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  1. Advancing Regulatory Science

Communication of Medication Information: Lessons Learned from Working with Uninsured Immigrants in Maryland

Georgetown University CERSI

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Presented by:

Picture of Maria Rosa Watson, DDS


Maria Rosa Watson, DDS, MS, DrPH
Independent Consultant &
Previous Research Director of Primary Care Coalition of Montgomery County
Collaborator, Georgetown University Medical Center

About the Presentation

There is a need to thoroughly and competently communicate to patients the appropriate use of therapeutic drugs, as well as the known benefits and risks. The treatment of chronic illnesses commonly requires long-term use of pharmacotherapy; however, a large proportion of patients do not take their medications as prescribed. This may be an even larger problem among low-resourced racial/ethnic minorities that have little or no education.

Medication-taking behavior is complex and involves patient, physician, and process components as well as resources provided by the system of care. Some salient factors affecting adherence to prescribed medications include but are not limited to: suboptimal patient health literacy and/or cognitive status, cultural beliefs, lack of patient involvement in the treatment decision–making process, complicated drug regimens, communication barriers, ineffective communication of information about adverse effects, lack of continuity of care (e.g., care by multiple physicians), providers’ time limitations, and lack of supporting materials or sources of information.

In this presentation, Dr. Watson discussed the barriers to adherence to mental health prescribed medications, from the perspective of mostly immigrant patients with chronic conditions who receive care in community clinics for the uninsured. She also explored comprehension and usability of FDA communication by ethnic/racial subgroups as observed in the community clinics.

About the Presenter

Maria Rosa Watson, DDS, MS, DrPH, is an independent consultant. Previously, she served as research director of the Primary Care Coalition (2006-15) – a not-for-profit organization that provides access to primary care programs, including oral health and specialty care to uninsured children and adults in Montgomery County, Maryland. During her time there, she wrote and/or implemented investigator-initiated grants from the NIH, CDC, and CMS. Her prior work was as a Pediatric Dentistry/Dental Public Health faculty member at the University of Maryland Dental School (1993-2002), and at Baylor College of Dentistry (1991-1993). In 2013-14 she completed a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy fellowship, which included an assignment at the U.S. Senate. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Public Health Dentistry.

For Questions

Please contact Amal Manseur at Amal.Manseur@fda.hhs.gov.


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