• Pavithira Sekar Sri Ramachandra University
  • Pavithira Sekar
  • K. Punnagai


Objective: The study was aimed to evaluate the adequacy of information provided by drug promotional literature using WHO criteria. They were also
evaluated for the quality, types of claims and the genuineness of these claims in this literature.
Methods: 412 drug promotional literature were collected from 20 busy physicians in the western part of Chennai from their private clinics. In addition
to carrying out of WHO criteria, 1988,†the brochures were examined for the quality of coverage using a pre-tested and pre-validated checklist and
types of claims and the genuineness of these claims were evaluated for their recoverability and accuracy.
Results: It was found that all the WHO criteria were not fulfilled by any of the promotional literature. 91.2% of leaflets satisfied the 4 WHO criteria
namely, the brand name, generic name, approved therapeutic uses, name and address of the manufacturer. A most neglected aspect of drug promotion
was information regarding drug interactions, precautions, Adverse drug reactions and overdosage (<10%). Of 412 leaflets collected, the quantitative
research methods were mentioned in 67 (16.2%). Cardiovascular drugs and nutritional supplements were the most promoted drug groups (23% and
17%, respectively). 412 drugs promotional literature made a total of 954 claims. References were cited in 47% of the literature of which 96% were
from the indexed journal and were retrievable.
Conclusion: Drug promotional literature analyzed by this study was inadequate in terms of their adequacy, quality and genuineness of coverage.
Thus, the pharmaceutical companies did not follow the WHO guidelines while promoting their products, thus aiming to satisfy their commercial
motive rather than fulfilling the educational aspect of promotion.
Keywords: Promotional literature, Ethical criteria for drug promotion, Pharmacy practice, marketing practice.

Author Biography

Pavithira Sekar, Sri Ramachandra University


Department of Pharmacology


Ethical Criteria for Medicinal Drug Promotion. World Health

Organization. 1988 May 13; [8screens]. Available from: http://www.


[Last accessed on 2006 Dec 10].

Cooper RJ, Schriger DL. The availability of references and the

sponsorship of original research cited in pharmaceutical advertisements.

CMAJ 2005;172(4):487-91.

Mali SN, Dudhgaonkar S, Bachewar NP. Evaluation of rationality

of promotional drug literature using World Health Organization

guidelines. Indian J Pharmacol 2010;42(5):267-72.

Cardarelli R, Licciardone JC, Taylor LG. A cross-sectional evidencebased

review of pharmaceutical promotional

marketing brochures and





what they tell


important and

true? BMC


Pract 2006;7:13.

International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and

Associations (IFPMA). Available from: http://www.ifpma.org.

OPPI Code of Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices. Available from:

http://www.indiaoppi.com/OPPI%20Code%20of%20 Marketing%20

pdf. 2007 Jan. [Last accessed on 2007 Mar 3].

Gopalakrishnan S, Murali R. India: Campaign to Tackle Unethical

Promotion. World Health Organization. Essential Drugs Monitor;

p. 22. Available from: http://www.apps.who.int/medicinedocs/

pdf/s4937e/s4937e.pdf. [Last accessed on 2010 Nov 10].

Panda A, Bhagat A. Drug promotional literature: Will they promote

rational drug prescribing. Biomedicine 2013;33(4):550-4.

Khakhkhar T, Mehta M, Shah R, Sharma D. Evaluation of drug

promotional literatures using WHO guidelines. J Pharm Negat Results


Jayakaran C, Saxena D, Yadav P, Kantharia ND. Drug promotional

literature distributed by pharmaceutical companies: Do they

provide enough information to ascertain their validity? J Pharmacol

Pharmacother 2011;2(3):192-3.

Murthy MB, Krishnamurthy B. Authenticity of claims made in drug

promotional literature. Indian J Pharmacol 2010;42(1):59-60.

Othman N, Vitry A, Roughead EE. Quality of pharmaceutical

advertisements in medical journals: a systematic review. PLoS One


Kessler DA. Addressing the problem of misleading advertising. Ann

Intern Med 1992;116(11):950-1.

Garje YA, Ghodke BV. Assessment of promotional drug literature using

World Health Organization (WHO) Guidelines. Indian J Appl Res




How to Cite

Sekar, P., P. Sekar, and K. Punnagai. “EVALUATION OF THE RATIONALITY OF CLAIMS MADE IN DRUG PROMOTIONAL LITERATURE IN WEST CHENNAI”. Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research, vol. 8, no. 5, Sept. 2015, pp. 107-9, https://innovareacademics.in/journals/index.php/ajpcr/article/view/6881.



Original Article(s)