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Med J Aust. 2002 Sep 16;177(6):291-3.

Pharmaceutical advertisement claims in Australian medical publications.

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  • 1Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the quality of claims in advertisements published in Australian medical publications, describe how benefits and harms are presented, and examine the level of underpinning evidence.

DESIGN AND SETTING:

Audit of a consecutive three-month sample of advertisements appearing in six popular Australian medical publications.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Proportion of advertisements with quantitative information; proportion of claims conveying clinical outcomes; where retrievable, level of underpinning evidence.

RESULTS:

Of 1504 claims, 855 could be substantiated quantitatively. Of these, 45% were supported by compelling evidence (randomised controlled trials or better). Of 13 claims explicitly reporting quantitative outcomes, none provided the absolute risk reduction or the number needed to treat.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our audit invites greater diligence by pharmaceutical companies in substantiating their claims and greater vigilance among clinicians when reading them.

PMID:
12225274
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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