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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 34

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.


Publication type: Journal Article

Vlassov V, Mansfield P, Lexchin J, Vlassova A.
Do drug advertisements in Russian medical journals provide essential information for safe prescribing?
West J Med 2001; 174:391-394


Objective To examine pharmaceutical advertisements in medical journals for their adequacy of information. Methods We selected a convenience sample of 5 major Russian medical journals covering different fields of medicine and different types of publications. We evaluated all the ads in all the issues of the selected journals published during 1998. We counted the number of appearances of trade, chemical, and generic names; indication and contraindication; pharmacologic group; safety warnings; and references. Counts in all categories were aggregated for each advertiser. Results There were 397 placements of 207 distinct advertisements. Only 154 placements (40%) mentioned the generic name, 177 (45%) mentioned any indication, 42 (11%) mentioned safety warnings and contraindications, 21 (5%) warned about drug interactions, and 8 (2%) provided references. The 6 companies responsible for the most ads on average provided less information than the other companies. Conclusions Almost none of the drug ads published in Russian medical journals provide the basic information required for appropriate prescribing. This is despite the fact that in Russia, ads
that omit essential information and that could lead consumers to misunderstandings about an advertised product are illegal. The arrival of drug advertising in Russia has brought little information and has been potentially damaging.

*content analysis Russia journal advertisements quality of information EVALUATION OF PROMOTION: JOURNAL ADVERTISEMENTS


Methodology note: A convenience sample of journals was used and the results may not be generalizable to ads appearing in other Russian medical journals.

Content analysis


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