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Evaluation of Medical Advertising Provided by Pharmaceutical Companies in Printed Drug Advertising Material in Peru

Abstract

Cristian Díaz-Vélez, Virgilio E. Failoc-Rojas, Claudia C Callirgos-Lozada, Betty Castro-Maldonado, Laura R. Arce-Villalobos, Oscar E Vera-Romero, Carlos J. Toro-Huamanchumo

Background: The World Health Organization (WHO) published the "Ethical criteria for medicinal drug promotion" in order to ensure marketing activities to be compatible with the truth search and the integrity that drug marketing and advertising must keep. Objective: To assess the medical advertising provided by the pharmaceutical companies in printed drug advertising material delivered to physicians working in Peruvian health establishments during 2014 and 2015. Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study. Drug general data, bibliographical references and registered premises were evaluated, and graphics and descriptive tables were obtained. Results: 90 printed advertising materials were collected, of which 72 presented bibliographical references. The least registered item was ‘contraindications and dose’ (55.6%) and in the quality of the references, 21.3% of the premises had no research as basis, being 30.9% of level of evidence 4 and 5, and 33.2% were poorly referenced or did not exist. Of the 566 registered premises, 14.7% were not supported by any bibliography, and of the remaining premises, we found that 35.9% were controversial and / or deceptive and 51.4% were inaccurate. Conclusion: The printed drug advertising material delivered to physicians has inaccurate content, use low levels of evidence and grades of recommendation, with poor referencing quality. Furthermore, there are registered premises that are supported by non-existent references or with controversial or deceptive agreements. Keywords: Propaganda, Marketing of Health Services, Direct-to-Consumer Advertising (MeSH-NLM).

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