A critical evaluation of information in drug promotional brochures for validity as per WHO criteria
Keywords:Chart junks, Drug Controller General of India, Drug promotional literature, Data density index, Lie factor
Background: Promotion of drugs through publication of promotional literature is a standard practice of pharmaceutical companies. This study is aimed at critically analyzing the drug promotional brochures.
Methods: Observational study was conducted in Department of Pharmacology, Government Medical College Amritsar according to WHO guidelines. 100 brochures of different pharmaceutical companies were collected at random from various OPDs of a tertiary care hospital.
Results: Only 14 % of total brochures demonstrated overall adherence to WHO guidelines. Safety information was lacking in 88%. Irrelevant pictures were found in 66% brochures while relevant illustrated information was included in only 23 % of brochures. Out of total illustrations found relevant (n=44), 45.5% did not quote any reference, and results didn’t match with original study in 11.4%.
Conclusions: Our study points towards big lacuna in drug promotional brochures, an important source of drug information. Low percentage of adherence to the guidelines in the study reflects commercial interest of pharmaceutical companies and lack of will to correctly disseminate the drug related information.
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