Pharmaceutical companies are often criticized for the quality of their drug advertisements in developing countries. The quantitative data we have collected on advertisements in Francophone African countries confirm these criticisms. In 1990, only 41 out of 141 advertisements published in 6 medical and paramedical journals aimed at Francophone health personnel in Africa conformed to French standards for accuracy and objectivity. Indications were absent from 5 (3.5%) advertisements and exaggerated in 42 (29.8%); side-effects were not mentioned at all in 37 (26.2%) advertisements and were incomplete in a further 20 (14.2%). Similarly, contraindications were absent from 30 (21.3%) advertisements and incomplete in 19 (13.5%). It is clear that pharmaceutical companies do not always follow a code of ethical conduct and that they frequently exploit the lack of effective controls in developing countries. This attitude creates a hazard to public health and tarnishes the image of the companies concerned.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- History and Philosophy of Science