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Original Article

pnr. 2013; 4(1): 33-38

Evaluation of drug promotional literatures using WHO guidelines

Tejas Khakhkhar, Maulin Mehta, Rima Shah, Dineshchandra Sharma.

Aim: To evaluate the scientific and ethical status of the drug promotional literatures available in Indian market using WHO criteria. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional observational study was carried out in department of pharmacology for evaluation of 142 drug promotional literatures by WHO-criteria, collected randomly from various regions of Gujarat. They were also analyzed for different claims, catchy terms, quality of paper and print, and representation of data with statistics/diagram/table. The references cited in the literatures were evaluated for their source, year of publication, authenticity, and retrievability. Results: 49% of literatures were designed for promotion of fixed dose-drug combinations (FDCs). Chemotherapeutic agents and cardiovascular drugs were most promoted drug groups (19% each). None of the drug promotional literature fulfilled all the WHO criteria. Description of pharmacological effects and mechanism of action was not given in 54% and 80% of literatures, respectively. Majority (80-90%) were lacking information related to indications, correct dosage regimen, and dose adjustments in special situations. Most neglected aspect of drug promotion was mentioning about adverse drug reactions, drug interactions, precautions, and over dosage (

Key words: Ethical drug promotion, promotional literature, WHO criteria for evaluation of drug promotion

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