Vol IX, Issue 2 Date of Publication: April 21, 2024
DOI: https://doi.org/10.20529/IJME.2024.006

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Opioid promotion in Canada: A narrative review

Joel Lexchin
Studies based on the United States Open Payment database have demonstrated an association between the promotion and prescribing of opioids. An equivalent database does not exist in Canada; therefore, I undertook a narrative review of the literature. In 2015, Purdue spent over CAN$4 million promoting a single product and generated over 160 pages of journal advertising. In the current review, I describe each of the six different forms of promotion that companies used to try and influence prescribing behaviour: messages from sales representatives, journal advertisements, company involvement in undergraduate medical education, key opinion leaders, clinical practice guidelines, and the funding of patient groups. Recent regulatory changes have decreased the volume of opioid promotion, but it would be incorrect to assume that it does not continue to influence the prescribing of this class of drugs.

Copyright and license
©Indian Journal of Medical Ethics 2024: Open Access and Distributed under the Creative Commons license ( CC BY-NC-ND 4.0),
which permits only non-commercial and non-modified sharing in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

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