DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18203/2319-2003.ijbcp20182425

An observational study of various drug promotional advertising brochures: with an emphasis on World Health Organization ethical criteria for medicinal drug promotion

Ervilla Dass

Abstract


Background: Drug promotional literature (DPLs) is an integral approach of pharmaceutical marketing strategy, which can almost influence a physician to prescribe definite variety of medicine from a particular company. The objective was to evaluate the accuracy, consistency, and validity of the information in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) ethical criteria for medicinal drug promotion.

Methods: This was an observational study, in which total 100 DPLs were sorted out to evaluate whether the information is consistent/relevant with that presented by the criteria laid down by the WHO guidelines; such as nature of claims, pictorial content presented, cited references, the indication and significance of various data such as figure, graphs, table and clinical data.

Results: From all the 100 promotional literatures sorted out, all showed the INN name and brand name, amount of active ingredient, dosage form and name and address of manufacturers/distributers was shown in all; adjuvants known to cause problem were not shown. Moreover, approved therapeutic uses were clearly mentioned in 35, 48 were having pictures presented, scientific graphs and clinical data were shown in 19.

Conclusions: The results reveal that, majority of DPLs satisfied only half of the WHO criteria for rational drug promotion and none of them fulfilled all the specified criteria. Incomplete or exaggerated information in DPLs may mislead and result in irrational prescription. Therefore, physicians should critically evaluate DPLs regarding updated scientific evidence required for quality patient care.


Keywords


Advertising brochures, Drug promotion, Promotional literatures, WHO guidelines

Full Text:

PDF

References


Essentials of medical pharmacology. Chapter 5: Aspects of pharmacotherapy; clinical pharmacology and drug development, page 71; 6th edition, Jaypee Publication, New Delhi; 2008.

Ethical criteria for medicinal drug promotion. World Health Organization, 1988. Available at: http://apps.who.int/medicinedocs/documents/whozip08e/whozip08e.pdf. Cited on 2016 March.

Kaushal S, Singh J, Biswas A. A critical appraisal of drug advertisements and their impact on prescribing: An observational, cross-sectional study. Anaesth Pain and Intensive Care. 2015;19(4):489-94.

Sahne BJ, Yegenoglu S, Uner M, Wertheimer AI. Adherence of drug advertisements to the international marketing codes. Hacettepe University J of the Fac of Pharma. 2012;32(1):53-66.

Alam K, Shah AK, Ojha P, Palaian S, Shankar PR. Evaluation of drug promotional materials in a hospital setting in Nepal. South Med Rev. 2009;2:2-6.

Cooper RJ, Schriger DL. The availability of references and the sponsorship of original research cited in pharmaceutical advertisements. CMAJ. 2005;172:487-91.

Organization of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI); 2012. Available at: https://www.indiaoppi.com/sites/default/files/PDF%20files/For-Download-OPP-Handbook-05-09-2017_0.pdf. Cited on 2016 Feb 03.

Garje YA, Ghodke BV, Lalan HN, Senpaty S, Kumar R, Solunke S. Assessment of promotional drug literature using World Health Organization guidelines. Int J Ayurveda Res. 2014;4:3-5.

Cardarelli R, Licciardone JC, Taylor LG. A cross-sectional evidence-based review of pharmaceutical promotional marketing brochures and their underlying studies: Is what they tell us important and true? BMC Family Practice. 2006;7:13.

Cooper RJ, Schriger DL, Wallace RC, Mikulich VJ, Wilkes MS. The quantity and quality of scientific graphs in pharmaceutical advertisement. J Gen Intern Med. 2003;18:294-7.

Understanding and Responding to Pharmaceutical Promotion. A Practical Guide. First edition World Health Organization/Health Action International Collaborative Project. Available at: http://www1.paho.org/hq/dmdocuments/2011/drug-promotion-manual-CAP-3-090610.pdf. Cited on 14 October, 2015.

Prosser H, Almond S, Walley T. Influences on GPs’ decision to prescribe new drugs- the importance of who says what. Family Practice. 2003 Feb;20(1):61-8.

Villanueva P1, Peiró S, Librero J, Pereiró I. Accuracy of pharmaceutical advertisements in medical journals. Lancet. 2003 Jan 4;361 (9351):27-32.