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Afr J Med Med Sci. 2007 Sep;36(3):207-11.

Influence of drug promotion on prescribing habits of doctors in a teaching hospital.

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Department of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Ilorin, Nigeria.


This descriptive cross-sectional survey was conducted at University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital to examine the influence of drug promotion by drug companies on the prescription habits of doctors in the hospital. Self-administered questionnaires were used to collect information from 137 doctors selected across all the clinical and laboratory departments using proportionate sampling. Majority (89.0%) of the doctors had attended drug promotion forum and were exposed to 64 different branded drugs within 6 months to this study. Fifty percent of the doctors had prescribed promoted drugs for the first time within 6 months to this study and over two-thirds agreed that drug promotion materials served as incentives to prescribe promoted drugs in preference to their alternatives. More than two-thirds of the doctors did not prescribe in generic names, thus making them susceptible to prescribing promoted branded drugs. Drug promotion by drug companies influence prescription habits of doctors in this teaching hospital. This finding though beneficial to the drug companies may not necessarily be cost-effective and to the benefit of the patients. Further studies and attention on this issue in developing countries is necessary with the ultimate aim of protecting the interest of patients in the face of rising cost of pharmaceuticals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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