Published: 2019-04-23

Analysis of drug promotional literatures in a tertiary care hospital: a cross sectional study

Noopur Vyas, Savita Shahani


Background: Large numbers of new drugs are introduced into the market every day and pharmaceutical companies are in the business of development and selling of new drug. There are different modes of drug promotion which include visual aids, leave behind leaflets and audio visuals. Drug Promotional Literatures (DPL’s) claim to provide vital and accurate information regarding the drug. To ensure rational use of drugs a set of standards laid by the WHO for ethical drug promotion.

Methods: A cross sectional observational study was performed in Department of Pharmacology at a tertiary care teaching hospital of Navi Mumbai. A total of 100 drug promotional literatures were randomly collected from different outpatient departments and were evaluated by using WHO guidelines.

Results: None of drug promotional literature fulfilled all WHO criteria. Generic name, Brand name, active ingredients were mentioned in all. The problem causing ingredient was not mentioned in any of the cases. Safety information was not complete, adverse drug reactions were mentioned in only 45% of the cases, contraindications and drug interactions were mentioned in 39% of the cases. Manufacturer details including name and address of manufacturer was mentioned in 67% of the DPL’s. References were mentioned in 80% of the literature out of which 84% were from journal articles.

Conclusions: None of the DPL’s satisfied all the WHO criteria. Incomplete information may lead to irrational prescription of drugs. Therefore, more strict regulations need to be implemented and physicians must critically evaluate DPL’s before considering the same for prescribing.


Drug promotion literatures, Ethical drug promotions, Rational drug prescribing, WHO guidelines

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