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Technology Transforms Market Research in Pharmaceutical Industry

New Study Finds Use of the Internet Now Dominates Quantitative Research


NEW YORK, Feb. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Three out of five market research studies -- 60 percent of those fielded in the US and abroad -- were conducted online last year, according to the 2007 Medefield Pharmaceutical Market Research Trends Study.

The report, released today, indicates that Internet-based market research -- once the orphan of the industry -- is now conducted three times more often than telephone interviews and nearly four times as often as those performed face-to-face, making online research the undisputed leader in methodology for quantitative physician studies.

"This is more than a trend, it's a fact of life," said Johanne Guarda, Senior Vice President of Medefield America, who pointed out that this is the fourth year in which the company has produced its study.

Although previous Medefield studies have indicated steady growth in the online category, last year's increase -- up 43 percent -- showed a sharper curve than in any of the previous years. At the same time, the use of face-to-face and telephone research experienced a sharp decline, with face-to-face falling 28 percent and telephone interviews dropping 41 percent since 2006. There was a clear correlation between previous experience with the Internet and an increased comfort level, resulting in a higher expectation of quality and access to a large cross-section of doctors.

The study also showed an increase in the spread of global online research, with Eastern Europe and parts of Asia and Latin America gradually moving onto the scale, though still far behind the U.S. and Western Europe. Researchers now report Internet experience in Brazil (9 percent) and Japan (6 percent), two countries that had previously been thought too remote for large scale online studies.

"What we're seeing," added Guarda, "is that market researchers have grown more ambitious. They still want their studies to be time-efficient, cost-effective and capable of producing high quality data. But they're designing more complex studies with higher goals, aimed at reaching more physicians -- geographically and within a cross-section of specialties -- and yielding information that's really solid. What's more, the researchers want to do all this within their pre-approved budgets and deadlines."

The need to stay within authorized budgets while increasing Internet use has resulted in a curious paradox. The very same market researchers who chose the online methodology in the first place -- generally for its cost-effectiveness -- are now using it so much that they are spending more. While researchers say that would like to see lower prices, they are in fact driving up the price by designing more ambitious and increasingly complex studies.

More than 20 global pharmaceutical and biotech companies were represented in this year's Medefield Market Research Trends Study, including AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Wyeth, Novartis, Roche and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Online interviews were conducted with 163 market research and business intelligence professionals.

Copies of the new Medfield Pharmaceutical Market Research Trends Study are available by writing to Medefield or by e-mailing Andrea Alfonsi, President, Medefield America (

Medefield is an international agency specializing in pharmaceutical market research, providing e-Fieldwork services in the US, Canada, Europe, Central and South America and Asia. The company has a proprietary respondent community of more than 400,000 physicians around the world and conducts more global online physician surveys than any other company.

Medefield America is located at 24 W. 40th Street, Suite 950, New York, NY, 10018. Telephone: 212-328-8032, In Europe, Medefield is headquartered at 101 Wigmore Street, 5th Floor, London W1U 1QU. Telephone +44 (0) 207 665 9222.

CONTACT: Julie Laitin (212) 286-2424


SOURCE Medefield America
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