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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 19-23

The impact of pharmaceutical promotion on rational prescribing and drug use in Sudan

Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, National University, Khartoum, Sudan

Correspondence Address:
Salah Ibrahim Kheder
Faculty of Pharmacy, National University, Khartoum
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DOI: 10.4103/summ.summ_2_17

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Background: The relationship between pharmaceutical companies and health-care professionals has become a matter of debate and criticism concerning the real objectives and the potential impact on providing ethical and professional care of medicines. The aim of this study is to investigate the influences of pharmaceutical marketing on perceptions of physicians and pharmacists on their rational prescribing and health profession. Methods: A descriptive (noninterventional study), cross-sectional survey study conducted in Khartoum State during the period of September 15, 2013 TO March 20, 2014. Questionnaire was designed for this purpose and distributed to physicians and community pharmacists on a random basis. Results: Of the 200 doctors surveyed, 77 (38.5%) were physicians and 123 (61.5%) were pharmacists. Nearly 53.8% of physicians and 44.6% of pharmacists thought that they moderately influenced personally by pharmaceutical promotion. The main factors that affecting the prescribing behavior of physicians through their practice were product safety and effectiveness, i.e., 83 (76.9%) and the frequent visits by medical representatives about 54 (50.0%). While the main factors making the pharmacists ordering the product that is they have been prescribed 85 (78.7%) and the quality of the product 68 (63.0%). Discussion: The study shows that a variety of techniques were used to influence the prescribing and use of medicines such as free medical samples, gifts, journals, and direct marketing. The key role of these techniques is to increase the number of prescriptions. However; many health professionals underestimate the effects of pharmaceutical promotion on their beliefs and professional practice and believe that they are not personally influenced by promotion. Conclusion: The current quantitative study strongly suggests that the absence of regulated pharmaceutical promotion and competition results in the negative influence in the professional behavior and thus rational prescribing and use of medicines.

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