Original Research Article
Year: 2018 | Month: April | Volume: 8 | Issue: 4 | Pages: 55-62
Evaluation of Rationality of Drug Promotional Literature Using Who Ethical Criteria for Medicinal Drug Promotion
Naveen Mangla1, M.C. Gupta2
1Post-Graduate, 2Senior Professor and Head,
Department of Pharmacology, Pandit Bhagwat Dayal Sharma Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Rohtak, Haryana.
Corresponding Author: Naveen Mangla
Objective: To evaluate the rationality of drug promotional literature(DPL) using WHO criteria for ethical medicinal drug promotion.
Material and Methods: 150 brochures for drug promotion were collected from physicians of various departments in Pandit B. D. Sharma University of health sciences randomly, to whom they were circulated by medical representatives. These promotional literatures were evaluated against the WHO ethical criteria for medicinal drug promotion.
Result: Only 2% of the drug promotional literature fulfilled all the WHO criteria and none fulfilled OPPI Code of Ethical Practice. DPL were highly compliant (≥ 70%) about brand name, active ingredients & their contents, manufacturer’s name and address. DPL showed moderate compliance (40-69%) regarding mention of approved indications and dosages but unfortunately majority of DPL were poorly compliant (≤ 39%) for references, side effects, precautions, warnings, contraindications, interactions and name of other ingredients. Cost was mentioned in only 4% of literature and date of production of advertisement was not mentioned in any literature. Antibiotics (20%) were the most promoted group of drugs. 65% of promotional literature was designed for promotion of FDCs.
Conclusion: Drug promotion undoubtedly influences the prescribing behaviour of general physicians but their accuracy has always been questionable because the facts and figures in these literatures are often biased and distorted so as to highlight only the beneficial effect of the products and undermine the harmful effects. At national level, ethical committees and drug regulatory authorities need to maintain stringent control on the promotional activities of the pharmaceutical companies.
Key words: Ethical drug promotion, WHO criteria, Drug promotion literature