Statistical malpractice in drug promotion: A case-study from Brazil

Cesar G. Victoria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The advertising practices employed by some drug corporations in peripheral countries have been criticised on medical and ethical grounds, mainly for failing to disclose the dangers and for exaggerating the properties of the promoted products. This paper reveals how statistical and methodological fallacies have also been employed in advertisements directed at Brazilian physicians in recent years. A large fraction of such promotional materials not only fail to support with evidence the claims being made but also employ faulty experimental design, analysis and presentation of results in order to impress upon doctors the quality of the drugs being advertised. Such practices, since they are likely to influence doctors to prescribe inadequate products, may represent a hazard to their patients' recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)707-709
Number of pages3
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Development
  • Health(social science)


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