Educational Initiatives for Medical and Pharmacy Students about Drug Promotion: An International Cross-Sectional Survey - EDM Research Series No. 036
(2005; 61 pages) View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentAcknowledgements
Open this folder and view contentsExecutive summary
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentMethods
Close this folderResults
View the documentSample characteristics
Close this folderHow is education on drug promotion included within the curriculum?
View the documentAmount of education
View the documentTypes of promotion covered
View the documentRegulation and ethics of drug promotion
View the documentEducational techniques
View the documentInvolvement of pharmaceutical sales representatives
Open this folder and view contentsMain objectives for education about drug promotion
View the documentDiscussion
View the documentConclusions
View the documentReferences
View the documentAppendix 1: Sample questionnaire
View the documentAppendix 2: Country breakdown in total
 

Types of promotion covered

Table 4 describes the type of promotion covered in educational initiatives, in order of frequency within the combined sample. Table 4a provides a breakdown by region. The large majority of coursework included advertisements, followed by sales representatives. In most cases pharmacy and medical faculty respondents reported that they covered similar types of content. The two exceptions were patient requests for medicines and the use of the Internet by patients: pharmacy faculties had more of an emphasis than medical faculties on these topics. This may in part reflect a much greater influence on pharmacy practice of patient-directed advertising for over-the-counter drugs.

Table 4: What types of promotion are covered in education about drug promotion?

 

Pharmacy
n=91

Medical
n=137

Combined
n=228

Advertisements

79 (87%)

111 (81%)

190 (83%)

Sales representatives

66 (72%)

100 (73%)

166 (73%)

Sponsored conferences and seminars

50 (55%)

88 (64%)

138 (61%)

Promotional ‘research’

54 (59%)

81 (59%)

135 (59%)

Gifts

47 (52%)

76 (56%)

123 (54%)

Industry-funded medical or scientific journals

47 (52%)

68 (50%)

115 (50%)

Use of ‘opinion leaders’

41 (45%)

69 (50%)

110 (48%)

Industry-funded research published in peer-reviewed journals

46 (51%)

62 (45%)

108 (47%)

Free samples

48 (53%)

59 (43%)

107 (47%)

Use of the Internet for promotion*

54 (59%)

39 (29%)

93 (41%)

Patient requests for advertised drugs*

45 (50%)

45 (33%)

90 (40%)

Other

10 (11%)

16 (12%)

26 (11%)

 

* pharmacy and medical school responses differed significantly, p<.05, chi square analysis


Table 4a: Types of promotion covered - by region

 

Europe
(n=92)

Americas
(n=56)

W Pacific
(n=31)

Africa
(n=20)

SE Asia
(n=20)

E. Mediterr
(n=9)

Advertisements

75 (82%)

49 (88%)

26 (84%)

17 (85%)

17 (85%)

6 (67%)

Sales representatives

66 (72%)

44 (79%)

23 (74%)

16 (80%)

13 (65%)

4 (44%)

Free samples

32 (35%)

34 (61%)

16 (52%)

14 (70%)

8 (40%)

3 (33%)

Use of ‘opinion leaders’

45 (49%)

31 (55%)

19 (61%)

8 (40%)

6 (30%)

1 (11%)

Sponsored conferences and seminars

53 (58%)

34 (61%)

23 (74%)

13 (65%)

11 (55%)

4 (44%)

Promotional ‘research’

52 (57%)

40 (71%)

19 (61%)

13 (65%)

10 (50%)

1 (11%)

Gifts

44 (48%)

35 (63%)

21 (68%)

11 (55%)

10 (50%)

2 (22%)

Patient requests for advertised drugs

25 (27%)

35 (63%)

11 (36%)

9 (45%)

6 (30%)

4 (44%)

Use of the Internet for promotion

34 (37%)

24 (43%)

12 (39%)

12 (60%)

6 (30%)

5 (56%)

Industry-funded medical or scientific journals

50 (54%)

32 (57%)

13 (42%)

8 (40%)

9 (45%)

3 (33%)

Industry-funded research in peer-reviewed journals

40 (44%)

32 (57%)

17 (55%)

10 (50%)

6 (30%)

3 (33%)

Table 4b: Explanation for ‘other’

Africa

Medical

Animation of continuing education (CE) lectures by experts from drug companies or importers

Americas

Pharmacy

Marketing techniques used to promote products
Publications of the public university
Trips/vacations abroad including other entertainment activities

Medical

Use of patient advocacy groups
Politics and the pharmaceutical industry
Where to find unbiased (or at least less biased) information on drugs
Ghostwriting, scandals, lobbying
We do NOT have a comprehensive approach to this subject

Europe

Pharmacy

Criteria for rational use
Communication in marketing

Medical

Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA)
We are teaching to chose the prescribing drugs according to evidence-based studies in literature and to compare the prices of drugs in different and same groups
Research promotion: use of case studies such as rofecoxib (VIOXX) from arzneimitel telegramm, Washington Post, to learn about manipulation of data
Poll on actual practice/market survey
“ABC of marketing techniques”
Mass media spin, contacts with political organizations,
Lobbying activities
Choice of analysis method, intention-to-treat vs. per protocol, choice of endpoint, generalizability

South-East Asia

Pharmacy

how to evaluate advertisements in patient information

Medical

We just make general statements touching all the above subjects

Western Pacific

Pharmacy

Trade shows, direct marketing
Communication in marketing

Medical

Encouragement of disease awareness
Expansion of disease definitions & scope to increase indications for drugs (disease ‘creation’)
Company sponsorship of attendance in local and international conferences
DTCA

E. Mediterranean

Pharmacy

Evaluate promotion literature, ethics of promotion, dealing with sales representatives

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