ABSTRACT: In Pakistan, there is no mechanism to monitor the drug promotional campaign by pharmaceutical industry despite the fact that there is enough evidence that irrational pharmacotherapy is increasingly encountered even in the developed countries due to unethical practices of pharmaceutical promotion. Objectives. To audit the drug promotional claims made by the pharmaceutical companies in Pakistan.
Drug promotional pamphlets and brochures containing claims for the drugs, which were circulated by the pharmaceutical representatives were collected from 122 general practitioners (GPs) from Karachi and Larkana cities of the Sindh Province. The claims were critically analyzed and audited with the help of currently available evidence in the medical literature.
345 distinct advertisements covering 182 drugs from different manufacturers were critically analyzed for information content. Sixty two out of 345 (18%) of the reviewed advertisements were adjudged to be misleading / unjustifiable, which were again classified as, exaggerated (32%), ambiguous (21%), false (26%), and controversial (21%). The primary source of information (approximately 78%) about the newly launched drugs for the GPs was found to be the pharmaceutical representatives followed by hospital doctors (5%) and colleagues (5%). Furthermore, 110 (90%) GPs were of the view that the drug promotion has definitely an influence on their prescribing pattern.
Since GPs in Pakistan rate pharmaceutical companies as their primary source of information regarding drugs, it can be anticipated that inappropriate advertisement claims would lead to irrational prescribing if physicians had no any other information to follow.
Journal of pharmacy & pharmaceutical sciences: a publication of the Canadian Society for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Societe canadienne des sciences pharmaceutiques 02/2006; 9(1):50-9. · 1.65 Impact Factor