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Advances in Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 469147, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/469147
Research Article

A Critical Analysis of Claims and Their Authenticity in Indian Drug Promotional Advertisements

Department of Pharmacology, Government Medical College, Amritsar 143001, India

Received 29 May 2014; Accepted 3 January 2015

Academic Editor: Gianluca Serafini

Copyright © 2015 Gurpreet Kaur Randhawa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Introduction. Drug promotional advertisements (DPAs) form a major marketing technique of pharmaceutical companies for promoting their products and disseminating ambiguous drug information which can affect prescribing pattern of physicians. Drug information includes product characteristics, various marketing claims with references in support to increase its credibility and authenticity. Material and Methods. An observational study was carried out on fifty printed drug advertisement brochures which were collected from different OPDs of Guru Nanak Dev Hospital attached to Government Medical College, Amritsar, India. These advertisements were analyzed and claims were categorized into true, false, exaggerated, vague, and controversial on criteria as reported by Rohraa et al. (2006). References of DPAs in support of the claims were critically analyzed for their retrievability from web and validity pertaining to claims. Results. Out of 209 claims from 50 advertisements, only 46% were found to be true, 21% false, 16% vague, 7% exaggerated, and 10% controversial in nature. Out of 160 references given in support of claims, 49 (30%) of references were irretrievable. Out of 111 (70%) retrievable references, 92 (83%) references were found valid. Conclusion. Drug information provided in the DPAs was biased, incomplete, unauthentic, and unreliable with references exhibiting questionable credibility.