A study of commercial advertisments appearing in sexual health/medicine journals

A study of commercial advertisments appearing in sexual health/medicine journals

2012-08-01 00:00:00

Advertisements in medical journals are an important strategy to improve sales of products. The pharmaceutical industry has been criticized for the quality of the advertisements especially with regards to the claims made in them and the fact that they are not evidence based. We assessed all the advertisements for medications and medical devices that appeared in four popular sexual health/medicine journals in the year 2008.

A study pro forma was constructed  based on previous papers in this area of research. We independently looked at the claims made and categorized them. For the claims that had references cited, we looked at the accessibility, the validity and the quality of the studies quoted. We identified a total of 37 advertisements amounting to 88 pages of advertising space. It included 31 advertisements for medications and six for medical devices. There were 10 unique advertisements noted. Only 38% of the claims had a reference quoted, out of which only one reference was accessible. Advertisements had a poor evidence base to the claims they made. The quality of the references and the limited access to the cited references continues to be a problem. Clinicians should not accept the findings that are cited in advertisements at face value.

Areas of Interest / Categories: WAS 2009
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