Companies advertise prescription drugs in medical journals to boost sales, but a large majority of them don't give doctors vital information such as adverse effects the medicines can have due to other drugs
Most doctors depend on advertisements in medical journals or direct marketing by representatives to gather information about new medications.
Lack of complete information prevents them from using the drug in a rational manner.
After studying 54 advertisements of more than 145 drugs printed in the Journal of Indian Medical Association researchers found that while all advertisements mentioned brand names,only 61% of them mentioned approved therapeutic uses.
Only two of the 145 advertisements mentioned names of ingredients known to cause problems.
Likewise, only two ads mentioned major adverse drug reactions.
Precautions, contraindications and warnings were listed in two advertisements, and major interactions were mentioned in just one advertisement.
While doctors said they depend on advertisements in medical journals as one of the sources of drug information, Medical Council of India, the apex body for regulating medical practices, has urged them to be careful while prescribing medicines.
Several complaints against doctors who prescribed medicines without the knowledge of contraindications are received.
Action against some doctors, and investigation is on many other cases