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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 80  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 115--121

Drug advertisements in two dermatology journals: A critical comparison of IJDVL and JAAD

1 Department of Dermatology, Shri Ram Murti Smarak Institute of Medical Sciences, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Pediatrics, Shri Ram Murti Smarak Institute of Medical Sciences, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Pratik Gahalaut
69, Silver Estate, Bareilly - 243 006, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: PG and NM have received honoraria for conducting trials and medical training programmes for Ranbaxy India, Abbott India and Intas Pharmaceuticals.

DOI: 10.4103/0378-6323.129381

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Background: Though drug promotion regulations exist worldwide, low quality of journal drug advertising is a global issue. Medical journals are regarded as a leading source of information for new drugs. They may also modulate prescribing behavior of physicians without their knowledge. A comparative analysis of advertisements from different countries may provide insights regarding strengths and weaknesses of different regulating systems. Aims: Prescription drug advertisements from the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology (IJDVL) and Journal of American Academy of Dermatology (JAAD) were compared to check their compliance with criteria of World Health Organization (WHO) and International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA). Methods: All the prescription drug advertisements of at least one page length appearing in all the issues of IJDVL and JAAD from January 2012 till December 2012 were included in this study. The contents of both advertisements were compared for compliance regarding different criteria of ethical codes for drug advertising of WHO and IFPMA. Statistical analysis was done using Fisher's exact test. Results: Compared to IJDVL, more advertisements in JAAD complied with WHO and IFPMA codes. On the whole, advertisements in IJDVL had significantly less information regarding the approved usage, dosage, abbreviated prescribing information (API), summary of scientific information, safety information regarding the drug, and references to the scientific literature to support various claims. However, JAAD had more advertisements with multiple claims than IJDVL, and many advertisements interspersed between scientific articles while IJDVL had none. Conclusion: The complex issue of ethical drug advertising in dermatology journals requires constant review and discussion. Dermatologists should be cautious in assessing any advertisement or claim even if it seems evidence-based. The results from our study highlight the need for a global, proactive and effective regulatory system to ensure ethical medicinal drug advertising in medical journals.


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