Critical evaluation of the claims made by pharmaceutical companies in drug promotional material in Pakistan

Dileep Kumar Rohra, Anwarul Hassan Gilani, Ismail Kamal Memon, Ghazala Perven, Muhammad Talha Khan, Hina Zafar, Rakesh Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Background. In Pakistan, there is no mechanism to monitor the drug promotional campaign by pharmaceutical industry despite the fact that there is enough evidence that irrational pharmacotherapy is increasingly encountered even in the developed countries due to unethical practices of pharmaceutical promotion. Objectives. To audit the drug promotional claims made by the pharmaceutical companies in Pakistan. Methods. Drug promotional pamphlets and brochures containing claims for the drugs, which were circulated by the pharmaceutical representatives were collected from 122 general practitioners (GPs) from Karachi and Larkana cities of the Sindh Province. The claims were critically analyzed and audited with the help of currently available evidence in the medical literature. Results. 345 distinct advertisements covering 182 drugs from different manufacturers were critically analyzed for information content. Sixty two out of 345 (18%) of the reviewed advertisements were adjudged to be misleading/unjustifiable, which were again classified as, exaggerated (32%), ambiguous (21%), false (26%), and controversial (21%). The primary source of information (approximately 78%) about the newly launched drugs for the GPs was found to be the pharmaceutical representatives followed by hospital doctors (5%) and colleagues (5%). Furthermore, 110 (90%) GPs were of the view that the drug promotion has definitely an influence on their prescribing pattern. Conclusions. Since GPs in Pakistan rate pharmaceutical companies as their primary source of information regarding drugs, it can be anticipated that inappropriate advertisement claims would lead to irrational prescribing if physicians had no any other information to follow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-59
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 14 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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