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


  • Douglas E. Ball Department of Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmacy, Kuwait University, Safat, Kuwait
  • Sara A. Al-Menea Department of Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmacy, Kuwait University, Safat, Kuwait


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


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.


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Research Article