Articles on drugs in the Spanish press: How much information and what topics make the news?

  • Gonzalo Casino Department of Communication, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain. Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre, Biomedical Research Institute Sant Pau (IIB Sant Pau)
  • Andreu Prados-Bo Department of Communication, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain. Blanquerna School of Health Sciences, Ramon Llull University
  • Fèlix Bosch-Llonch Dr. Antoni Esteve Foundation, Barcelona, Spain. Universitat de Vic, Universitat Central de Catalunya
Palabras clave: Drugs, Medications, Newspapers, Press, Science communication, Journalism, Content analysis


News about drugs is important for health professionals, businesses, and the general public. However, studies examining news articles about drugs are lacking. This paper uses content analysis to examine articles about drugs in 17 Spanish newspapers (13 general, two business, and two professional) from 2008 through 2017. On average, general and business newspapers published three articles about drugs every week, and professional newspapers published 14 every week. Overall, the number of articles about drugs decreased by 10%. The most covered drug-related topics in 2017 were cancer and generics; the least covered was preclinical research. Four times more articles were published on clinical than on preclinical research. Business newspapers published more about clinical and preclinical research than other types of newspapers. Articles about drugs accounted for 0.5% (n=838/178,926) of all articles in the general newspapers, 0.8% (n=468/55,800) in the business newspapers, 8.5% (n=415/4,856) in the medical newspapers, and 1.2% (n=19/1,645) in the science news agency SINC. This study used a new strategy to search and identify newspaper articles through content analysis of large volumes of information and offered relevant data to guide future research.


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Biografía del autor/a

Andreu Prados-Bo, Department of Communication, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain. Blanquerna School of Health Sciences, Ramon Llull University

Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre, Biomedical Research Institute Sant Pau (IIB Sant Pau), Barcelona, Spain.

Blanquerna School of Health Sciences, Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, Spain.

Fèlix Bosch-Llonch, Dr. Antoni Esteve Foundation, Barcelona, Spain. Universitat de Vic, Universitat Central de Catalunya

Dr. Antoni Esteve Foundation, Barcelona, Spain.

Universitat de Vic, Universitat Central de Catalunya, Spain


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Cómo citar
Casino, G., Prados-Bo, A., & Bosch-Llonch, F. (2020). Articles on drugs in the Spanish press: How much information and what topics make the news?. Revista Prisma Social, (31), 189-211. Recuperado a partir de