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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 65-68

Evaluating the reliability and accuracy of the promotional brochures for the generic pharmaceutical companies in Iraq using World Health Organization guidelines


Department of Clinical Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Baghdad University, Baghdad, Iraq

Correspondence Address:
Ehab Mudher Mikhael
Department of Clinical Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Baghdad University, Baghdad
Iraq
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0975-7406.148781

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Background: Pharmaceutical industries worldwide are heavily involved in aggressive drug promotions. Physician targeted promotion through medical representatives is one of the most common tactic for drug promotion by pharmaceutical drug companies. WHO states that medical representatives to work in an ethical way should make available to prescribers and dispensers complete and unbiased information for each product discussed; therefore this study aimed to evaluate the ethics in the medical brochures of generic pharmaceutical companies that are given through medical representatives to physicians in Iraq. Materials and Methods: An observational, cross-sectional study was conducted in Iraq - Baghdad from February to April 2014. Promotional drug brochures were collected mainly from pharmaceutical exhibition during attendance of medical conferences that were sponsored by generic pharmaceutical companies. Evaluation of each brochure was based primarily on WHO criteria for ethical medicinal drug promotion. The availability of emotional pictures in each brochure was also examined. Furthermore, references were checked to find their retrievability, source, and authenticity of presentations. Results: Most medical brochures were for antibiotics, and drugs for cardiovascular diseases. All brochures mention drug name, with its active ingredient and indication, but there is a significant absence for drug interaction, while drug side effects and contraindications if present were written in a small font. Emotional picture presented in 70% of brochures. Reference citation was present in 72% of brochures, however only 75% of references in these brochures were correct. Conclusions: The information that is provided in medical brochures is biased and mainly persuasive since it is mainly focusing on the positive aspect of drug therapy.


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