AJOB Primary Research.

Medical Students’ Willingness to Engage in Television Promotional Activities

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising poses significant ethical challenges. We conducted a survey about the likelihood that medical students would endorse pharmaceutical and herbal remedies on television. A survey asked how likely all medical students enrolled at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine in the spring of 2009 would be to promote products on television. Hypothetical scenarios varied according to whether products were beneficial, whether they had potential for harm, and how much money was offered for the promotion. Seventy-four percent of respondents were likely to promote at least one product, yet 73% indicated medical professionals should avoid such activities. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medications were more likely to be promoted compared with herbal remedies (p < .001). Students were more likely to endorse low- versus high-risk products (p < .001). There was a significant increase in likelihood to endorse based on increasing amounts of remuneration (p = .03). In conclusion, a majority of students would endorse at least one product on television, despite respondents’ attitudes that such activities should be avoided by “medical professionals.” Medical schools should educate students about conflicts of interest in caring for patients while advocating for or being influenced by pharmaceutical or herbal product firms.

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Volume 1, Issue 4
October 2010

Essays & Articles.

Medical Students’ Willingness to Engage in Television Promotional Activities Neil J. Farber, Jacqueline F. Kerkow & Mary Devereaux
Preface Robert “Skip” Nelson & Emily L. Evans
Twelve Years of the Brazilian Initiative to Create a Network of IRBs for the Ethical Evaluation of Research Studies Involving Human Subjects Ellen Hardy, Silvana Ferreira Bento, Eliana Maria Hebling, Anibal Faúndes, Maria José Duarte Osis & Maria Helena Sousa