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Table 2 Non-supported claims and claims based on potentially biased evidence of drug advertisements in major Swiss medical journals in 2005

From: Accuracy of drug advertisements in medical journals under new law regulating the marketing of pharmaceutical products in Switzerland

  Total Supported claims Not supported claims Claims based on potentially biased evidence
Drug claims 78 37 (47%) 16 (21%) 25 (32%)
Analgesic drugs 32 14 (44%) 10 (31%) 8 (25%)
Psychopharmacologic drugs 30 17 (57%) 3 (10%) 10 (33%)
Gastrointestinal drugs 16 6 (38%) 3 (19%) 7 (43%)
Promotional claims     
   Effectiveness 66(85%) 31 (84%) 14 (88%) 21 (84%)
   Safety 6 (8%) 2 (5%) 1 (6%) 3 (12%)
   Dosage/convenience 3 (4%) 1 (3%) 1 (6%) 1 (4%)
   Neutral 2 (3%) 2 (5%)   
   Costs 1 (1%) 1 (3%)   
Type of non-supported claim     
   False statement    4 (25%)  
   Exaggeration    4 (25%)  
   Unjustified generalization    3 (19%)  
   Absence of relation    3 (19%)  
   Unjustified transfer to humans    2 (13%)  
Type of claims based on potentially biased evidence     
   Abstract only     9 (36%)
   Selection bias     6 (24%)
   Publication bias     5 (20%)
   Information of ≥ 3 quality items of RCT* missing     4 (16%)
   Post hoc analysis     1 (4%)
  1. RCT*, randomised controlled trial