DOI: 10.21276/ajptr
Fri, 24 May 2019

Evaluation of Rationality of Drug Promotional Literature in Malaysia Using Local and International Guidelines

Ameeta Patil1*, S B Kale1

1. Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, MAHSA University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


The study was designed to assess drug promotional literature for rationality, accuracy and validity of the information provided, using World Health Organization (WHO) and PhAMA guidelines for ethical promotion of pharmaceutical products. The promotional brochures were evaluated for the essential drug information, nature of claims, pictures used and for the cited references. This observational, cross-sectional study was conducted in the tertiary care hospitals, private clinics and pharmacies in Klang Valley, Malaysia. The promotional literature were collected and evaluated in accordance with WHO and PhAMA guidelines for rationality, accuracy and validity. The data was collated and analyzed using descriptive statistics. A total of 301 promotional brochures were analyzed. Only few (19%) of the promotional literature fulfilled all the criteria as mentioned by the guidelines. In the analyzed promotional literature, multiple claims were commonly used. Eighty four percent of the brochures claimed about the efficacy of product, and a 38% about the safety. The most common missing information was on drug regimen (51%), safety (48%) and active ingredient (36%). The prescription behavior of the healthcare providers is largely influenced by promotional materials provided by the drug companies. Our observations suggest that few aspects of the information provided by the pharmaceutical companies in the promotional literature were not in accordance of the local and international guidelines on drug promotion. There is a perceived need for interventions to improve on the same.

Keywords: Drug promotional literature/ brochure, WHO guidelines, PhAMA guidelines.

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