Drug ads in rheumatology mags

Here is an excerpt from an analysis of ads in rheumatology mags:

Objectives. In rheumatology, five different billion-dollar drugshave emerged in recent years, making this subspecialty the focusof extensive advertising campaigns. Considering this developmentand the fact that the scientific content of advertisements hasbeen questioned, we initiated a study to determine how evidence-basedadvertisements are in four leading journals of rheumatology.

Methods. Advertisements were extracted from the journals Arthritisand Rheumatism, Rheumatology, Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatismand the Journal of Rheumatology, and were evaluated using astandardized score form..

Results: In total, 353 advertisements were obtained, of which84 were unique. Of the 300 references provided by these uniqueadvertisements, 53 (18%) were considered ‘supporting’.In addition, 87 (29%) of the 300 references referred to randomizedcontrolled trials (RCTs), of which 49% supported the claim.The vast majority of RCTs (97%) were sponsored by the advertisingcompany. In the 84 unique advertisements 288 claims were made,of which 190 provided one or more references. Of these 190 claims,33 (17%) were judged ‘well supported’. In total,only four (5%) of the 84 different advertisements were judged‘well supported’ and 11 (13%) of the 84 were judged‘misleading’ because they contained one or moremisleading claims, i.e. claims with references to articles contradictingthe claim.

Conclusions. This study indicates that few advertisements inrheumatology journals are entirely evidence-based.

link to the entire article here: http://tiny.cc/8nM9U

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