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Teaching of Critical Analysis of Drug Advertisements to Medical Students

Keywords: Critical appraisal , Drug advertisements , WHO criteria

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Abstract:

Background: Medical practitioners utilize drug promotional materials from pharmaceutical companies as a major source of information especially in developing countries. These promotional materials can be highly informative as long as they are critically appraised but when they are accepted without question, they lead to irrational prescribing. Aim: To sensitize the students regarding WHO criteria for medicinal drug promotion and to determine the impact of teaching critical appraisal of medicinal drug promotion to medical students. Design: The medical students of second year were given a pre test questionnaire to identify the violations in generic labeling, pharmacological information, claims, relevance and references cited in the drug advertisements. Later they were sensitized about the WHO criteria for medicinal drug promotion and how to critically appraise a drug advertisement. This was followed by a post test questionnaire with the same drug advertisement. Result: The number of students answering the post test correctly was significantly (p<0.05) more than that of pre test. Conclusion: Education of medical students regarding critical analysis of drug advertisements should be a part of the medical curriculum.

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