Development of information society engenders the problem of hygienic regulation of information load for the population, first of all for vulnerable groups. There are presented international and Russian normative legal documents and experience in this area, there are described the negative effects of information (such as stress, depression, suicidal ideations). There are considered social-psychological characteristics of vulnerable groups that requires their best protection from loads of information, doing harm, particularly in terms of reproductive health, family relationships, children, etc. There was noted the desirability of improvement of sanitary, legislation on the regulation of the information load on the population, especially in vulnerable groups, in terms of optimization of parameters of the signal-carriers on volume, brightness and the adequacy of the volume and content of information in radio and television broadcasting, in an urban environment and at the plant to preserve the health and well-being of the population.
The privacy of health information is a subject of great sensitivity in both Canada and the United States. As a result of public demands for more effective protection of such information as medical records, Canada and, particularly, its provincial governments, have implemented extensive legislation. The United States, on the other hand, has largely confined its efforts to private sector initiatives that are more reflective of voluntary codes than legal statutes. Because new technologic developments facilitate data sharing in the medical field, especially in the face of a continual reduction of healthcare budgets, the concern for privacy protection in this domain has intensified. Correspondingly, there has been a gradual theoretical shift in protective health information policies on both sides of the border. As Canada pushes to extend its federal and provincial legislation to the private sector, the United States is on the brink of approving a national bill that would protect the privacy of personal medical records. It is becoming evident that efforts to secure the privacy of health information in both countries are converging.
Drug advertisements affect the practice and continuous education of physicians. We assessed whether drug advertisements in Norway were in accordance with national regulations in the field.
All drug advertisements received by three general practitioners during a period of three months were collected. One advertisement for each of the 50 pharmaceutical products most frequently advertised was reviewed, available references obtained, and the information evaluated in relation to Norwegian regulations.
A total of 294 advertisements for 77 different products were reviewed. The 50 chosen advertisements contained 191 reference citations, of which 93% were retrieved. The originator of the advertisement in question provided 72% of the references we asked for. We identified 262 promotional claims for which the regulations require a reference citation. Of these, 135 (52%) did not comply with the regulations, including 15 (6%) that were false.
Only half of the information presented in drug advertisements was correct and clinically relevant. Relatively few statements were false, but a considerable proportion of statements gave an excessively positive picture of the product; hence, in general, this kind of information has no value as a source of information.
Comment In: Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2006 Aug 10;126(15):1946; author reply 1946-716915329