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
Open this folder and view contentsHow is education on drug promotion included within the curriculum?
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


The initial faxed survey reached 1014 medical and pharmacy faculties in 110 countries. Another 1047 potential respondents (43 additional countries) could not be reached because of incorrect contact information and fax transmission difficulties.

Table 1: Initial faxed survey to request names of educators: who did we contact?


Medical faculties

Pharmacy faculties


Contact information available for faculty

153 countries

82 countries

153 countries


Number of faculties successfully contacted *

741 (48%)

273 (50%)

1014 (49%)


Number of countries in which one or more faculties were contacted*

107 (70%)

47 (57%)

110 (72%)


*Fax or and/or e-mail transmission went through successfully within three attempts

We received 710 contact names in 91 countries from the initial faxed query and from e-mail list-serve postings in which we asked for names of contacts who were educating medical or pharmacy students about drug promotion. These are described in Table 1a.

Of these 710 responses, 564 were names of individuals who were involved in education on drug promotion; the remaining 146 were responses stating that the medical or pharmacy faculty was not involved in education about drug promotion. Messages on listserves led to 94 responses, 58 of whom responded to an initial query by sending us contact names. These are included in the breakdown by region in Table 1a.

Table 1a: Responses to initial fax survey, by WHO region and whether education about drug promotion was provided

WHO Region

Promotion on curriculum?

Total responses






258/320 (81%)

62/320 (19%)



119/143 (83%)

24/143 (17%)


W. Pacific

68/102 (67%)

34/102 (33%)



43/50 (86%)

7/50 (14%)


E. Mediterranean

35/50 (70%)

15/50 (30%)


S.E. Asia

41/45 (91%)

4/45 (9%)






We faxed a detailed questionnaire (see Appendix 1) to these 564 contacts, 199 of whom were educators in schools of pharmacy, 333 in schools of medicine and 28 unsure (for example in colleges of health sciences; further information required for clarification). The remaining four were consumer or public interest group contacts.

There were 262 responses (46%). Thirty-four (13%) of these were excluded, either because they were duplicate responses describing a single course (n=12), they were not involved in any education on drug promotion (n=18), they were only educating students about how to be sales representatives (n=2), or they were not involved in education of medical or pharmacy students (n=2).

The results below are based on the 228 respondents from 64 countries who stated that they or their institution were involved in educating medical or pharmacy students about drug promotion in one or more ways.

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