Drug Promotion - What We Know, What We Have Yet to Learn - Reviews of Materials in the WHO/HAI Database on Drug Promotion - EDM Research Series No. 032
(2004; 102 pages) View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentExecutive summary
Open this folder and view contentsIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsReview 1. What attitudes do professional and lay people have to promotion?
Open this folder and view contentsReview 2. What impact does pharmaceutical promotion have on attitudes and knowledge?
Close this folderReview 3. What impact does pharmaceutical promotion have on behaviour?
View the document3.1 Impact of promotion on individual prescribing practices
View the document3.2 Self-reported reasons for prescribing changes
View the document3.3 Prescribing by those who rely on commercial information
View the document3.4 Prescribing and exposure to promotion
View the document3.5 Exploring the impact of samples on prescribing
View the documentSummary
View the document3.6 Impact of promotion on overall sales
View the document3.7 Impact of promotion and industry funding on requests for formulary additions
View the document3.8 DTCA and consumers’ decisions
View the document3.9 Impact of sponsorship on content of continuing medical education courses
View the document3.10 Impact of industry funding on research
View the document3.11 Does funding affect the research agenda?
View the document3.12 Do authors reveal funding sources?
View the documentSummary of conclusions
Open this folder and view contentsReview 4. What interventions have been tried to counter promotional activities, and with what results?
View the documentFinal conclusions
View the documentReferences
 

Review 3. What impact does pharmaceutical promotion have on behaviour?

This is both the most difficult area to research and the most important. Doctors may not be aware of how much promotion they are exposed to. Therefore, as much as possible, research on the effect of promotion on behaviour should avoid relying on self-report data to show causal relationships. Self-report data are appropriate for finding out what people think is happening, or how they want to present themselves to others, but in this area, that may be far from the reality.

This review looks at the evidence for several different possible effects of promotion on behaviour. These are the impact of promotion on individual prescribing behaviour, on overall drug sales, and on requests for formulary additions; the effect of DTCA on consumers’ decisions, the effect of promotion on the content of continuing medical education courses, and the impact of industry funding on research outcomes.

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