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Exposure and attitudes to pharmaceutical promotion among pharmacy and medical students in Kuwait

Douglas E. Ball, Sara A. Al-Menea

Abstract

Purpose: To determine exposure and attitudes to, and acceptance of, drug promotion among pharmacy and medical students at Kuwait University.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey of all pharmacy students and a sample of preclinical medical students using a self- administered questionnaire.
Results: A total of 135 pharmacy and 103 medical students completed questionnaires. Medical students reported receiving more training on the ethics of drug promotion than pharmacy students (63 vs. 48%; p = 0.026). Non-educational gifts and glossy advertisements were the most common. A textbook was considered the most appropriate gift (72 and 70%) and hospitality the least appropriate (29 and 24%). Both groups agreed that most drug company talks are biased (74 vs. 60%, respectively; p = 0.008), but there was little other skepticism of pharmaceutical promotion.
Conclusions: Students are exposed to drug promotion from early studies. Formal training to prepare them is required and local institutional ethical guidelines should also be developed.


Keywords

Attitudes, gifts, drug promotion, medical students, pharmacy students


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