Objectives: Unethical drug promotion is a common problem worldwide. In, Nepal, there is limited vigilance on the quality of information supplied by the drug companies to the doctors. The objectives of this study were to analyze the promotional materials provided by the drug companies as per WHO ethical criteria for medicinal drug promotion.
Methods: Promotional materials present in the Drug Information Center (DIC) during the period from September to December 2007 were collected. The collected promotional materials of different pharmaceutical companies were compared with WHO's Ethical Criteria for Medicinal Drug Promotion.
Results: The name of active constituent(s) was mentioned in 87.87% (n=29) of promotional items. Therapeutic indication was mentioned in 87.88% (n=29) of promotional material but information on side effects [33.33% (n=11)], drug interactions [9.09% (n=3)] and use in pregnancy and lactation [12.12% (n=4)] were lacking in the majority of promotional materials.
Conclusion: In a country like Nepal with limited drug information resources, the promotional materials provided by the manufacturers can largely influence the prescription behavior of the clinicians. Our findings suggest the need for interventions to improve the content of the promotional materials provided by the drug companies.
Keywords: Drug Promotion; Ethics; Information; Nepal; Promotional Material.