eCite Digital Repository

Quality of claims and references found in Australian pharmacy journal advertisements


Mandoh, M and Curtain, CM, Quality of claims and references found in Australian pharmacy journal advertisements, International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 25, (5) pp. 365-370. ISSN 0961-7671 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Royal Pharmaceutical Society

DOI: doi:10.1111/ijpp.12326


Objectives: To evaluate the quality of pharmaceutical advertisement claims and supporting references in Australian pharmacy journals that target community pharmacists.

Methods: All full-page advertisements for a medicinal product, found in two Australian pharmacy journals from the year 2012 to 2015 were included. Advertisement claims and references were evaluated by claim type (unambiguous to immeasurable) and level of evidence (strong to irrelevant) in supporting references.

Key findings: Two hundred and ninety distinct advertisements and 598 claims were identified, with a median of 2 claims per advertisement. Twenty-seven percent of claims were unambiguous, 40% were vague, 16% were emotive/immeasurable and 17% were non-clinical or other marketing claims. Half of all claims were referenced. Although 68% of unambiguous claims were referenced, 63% of those were supported by studies that were funded directly or indirectly by pharmaceutical companies. Only 13% of claims were supported with strong or moderate independent evidence.

Conclusions: Pharmaceutical advertisements continue to present vague and emotive claims with little independent supporting evidence. Pharmacists need to be aware of these limitations when providing patient care. Increased awareness of this issue among pharmaceutical companies, Australian pharmaceutical journal publishers, regulators and pharmacists will assist in promoting optimised healthcare outcomes for the Australian public.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:advertisement claims, advertisement quality, pharmaceutical advertising, pharmacy journals, education
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences
Research Field:Clinical pharmacy and pharmacy practice
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Health education and promotion
UTAS Author:Mandoh, M (Mrs Mona Mandoh)
UTAS Author:Curtain, CM (Mr Colin Curtain)
ID Code:113242
Year Published:2017 (online first 2016)
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Pharmacy
Deposited On:2016-12-16
Last Modified:2017-11-27

Repository Staff Only: item control page