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Abstract

PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES PROMOTIONAL GIFTS EFFECT ON DOCTORS' PRESCRIBING: SUDANESE STUDY.

Kamal Addin Mohammad Ahmad Idris* and Ahmad Dahab Ahmad

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Pharmaceutical industry promotional gifts criticized for affecting doctors' prescribing behavior. This study was carried with the main objective of: verifying the views and practices of Sudanese doctors, as regards the effect of pharmaceutical companies‟ gifts on their prescribing behavior. Materials and Methods. This crosssectional, exploratory, questionnaire based study, targeted a population of 250 practicing doctors, from different medical specialties, and different public and private medical settings. Each of the potential participants was handed over a pretested, pre-structured, free to answer questionnaire consisting of (16) questions. Results showed a response rate of (76%).Majority (69.5%) of participants were young males (54.2%), specialists were (18.9%), majority (74.2%) had a practical experience of 1-10 years. Majority (80.5%) used to receive gifts of different kinds, nature and cost from companies' representatives. Only (46.8%) believed gifts alone can affect their prescribing, but (55.1%) believed promotion, in general, affects their prescribing .Majority (65.8%) believed that gifts affect the prescribing behavior of their other colleagues ! Majority (76.4%) were unaware of any code or guidance governing promotion. Majority (66.8%) considered receipts of gifts quite ethical and majority (65.5%) were against banning it. Majority (79%) were unaware that cost of gifts is ultimately passed to patients. Conclusion: Sudanese doctors need to raise their awareness about the binding rule of reciprocation, and the prevailing codes or laws governing pharmaceutical promotion to avoid its possible negative effects on their prescribing, and relations with patients. A Sudanese ethical promotion code shall be drawn by all stakeholders, and be strictly enacted.

Keywords: Sudanese, doctors, promotion, gifts, effects, prescribing.


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