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Table 2 Comparative evidence for the most advertised drugs and drug groups

From: Cross-sectional study of medical advertisements in a national general medical journal: evidence, cost, and safe use of advertised versus comparative drugs

Advertised drug Indication Comparison Reviewed evidence Evidence categorisation
Drug groups
1. Beta2-agonist + steroid inhalations 1. Asthma 1. Steroid inhalation only Systematic review [29] + FDA analysis [30]a Uncertain benefits
- 2. COPD 2. Beta2-agnoist inhalation only Systematic review [31] Uncertain benefits
2. Beta2-agonist + anticholinergic agents 2. COPD 3. Beta2-agonist only Systematic review [32] Uncertain benefits
 - 2. COPD 4. Anticholinergic agent only Systematic review [32] Uncertain benefits
3. ADHD medications
 Lisdexamfetamine 3. ADHD 5. Methylphenidate No evidence source No evidence
 Atomoxetine 3. ADHD 6. Methylphenidate One clinical trial [33]a No added benefits
4. New oral anticoagulations
 Rivaroxaban 4. Atrial fibrillation 7. Warfarin FDA report [34] No added benefits
 Dabigatran 4. Atrial fibrillation 8. Warfarin FDA report [35] No added benefits
Single drugs
 5. Paracetamol modified-release 5. Pain 9. Regular paracetamol No evidence source No evidence
 6. Vortioxetine 6. Depression 10. Duloxetine Systematic review [36]a No added benefits
 7. Aripiprazole intramuscular depot 7. Schizophrenia 11. Aripiprazole oral tablet EMA report [37] Uncertain benefits
 8. Pneumococcal vaccine 8. Pneumococcal pneumonia 12. Placebo Systematic review [38] + clinical trial [39] a Uncertain benefits
 9. Canagliflozin 9. Diabetes mellitus type 2 (single therapy) 13. Glimeride IQWiG report [40] No evidence
 - 10. Diabetes mellitus type 2 (add-on to metformin) 14. Glimerpiride add-on to metformin IQWiG report [40] Uncertain evidence
  1. ADHD attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; COPD chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder. aFor four comparisons we included evidence identified outside our stipulated search strategy. We have detailed this in the Supplement, eTable 8