Do medical and pharmaceutical Journalsí advertisements provide useful and reliable medication information? Sudan study

Author : Kamal Addin Mohammad Ahmad Idris, Mirghani Abdulrahman Yousif , Asim Faroug Mustafa

This study was the first of its kind in Sudan. Its main objective was to assess and evaluate the usefulness of medication informational contents of advertisements in international and local Sudanese medical and pharmaceutical journals in rational use of medicines. Two hundred forty five (n= 245) randomly selected advertisements, from twenty (n= 20) different local Sudanese and foreign (International) medical and pharmaceutical journals, advertising (n=245) pharmaceutical products, were screened and their information section headings were matched against ten section headings defined by researchers out of those recommended by the WHO. Results showed that the screened advertisements displayed section headings related to the medicationsí benefits in higher frequencies 903 (73.7%), than those section headings related to medications\' risks, 235(23.97%). Differences between the availability of 9 (90%) of compared section heading in both international and Sudanese journal advertisements were significant, (p value 0.000-0.006). References cited in support of claims in the (n=245) studied journal advertisements, were only 44 (17.95%). Studied journal advertisements generally displayed deficient, imbalanced and poorly supported medication information that hardly prove useful for rational medication prescribing, especially in developing countries. Healthcare providers shall seek independent sources of medication information and avoid biased commercial sources, altogether.

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