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Sources of information in drug advertisements: Evidence from the drug indexing journal of Bangladesh

Mohammad Saidul Islam, Sharmin Shams Farah

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2008.049


Drug advertisements often lack scientific evidence to support their claims. This descriptive study was conducted to measure the sources of information in drug advertisements in Bangladesh. Advertisements containing at least one medical or pharmaceutical claim were extracted from a convenience sample of the second issue of MediMedia Index of Medical Specialities (MIMS) Bangladesh in 2006. Descriptive statistical analyses including frequency distribution and percentage were performed for data analysis. Of the total 112 advertisements about 82 per cent did not provide any references in support of their claims. Only 17.9 per cent did; of which 65 per cent of the references included journal articles, which was followed by “data on file” in 25 per cent of cases. Superlative claims were commonly used without any scientific evidence. The study reported that medical or pharmaceutical claims made in the drug advertisements in MIMS Bangladesh are mostly not supported by scientific evidence.

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