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Verified Physicians a Must for Ensuring Quality Data From Online Surveys, Finds Frost & Sullivan
Date:1/27/2009

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Jan. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- As online physician panels gain popularity among pharmaceutical and medical device companies that conduct web-based surveys, research shows there is little interest to verify that the respondents in these surveys are indeed genuine physicians. This fraud can severely impact the quality of the data and compromise the integrity of the effort as the studies are only as good as their underlying respondents. It can also be costly for the study sponsors that base critical business decisions on these studies. Although some panel vendors make efforts to verify the identity of their physicians, it is the pharmaceutical marketing and brand managers who must increase their interest in this issue to force data quality standards.

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Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, recently completed a whitepaper entitled Unmasking the Respondent: How to Ensure Genuine Physician Participation in an Online Panel that investigates the process of panel member verification for several key solution providers, including Epocrates, Medscape/WebMD and e-Rewards. This whitepaper reviews verification processes that impact the reliability of physician panels, including physician recruitment or opt-in participation, reliability and automation of the verification process, and disbursement of post-study honoraria.

"The pharmaceutical industry makes crucial business decisions on the basis of data obtained through online surveys of doctors," said Frost & Sullivan analyst Fernanda LopezAraujo. "So it was surprising for us to find how little consideration went into the verification of physicians used to generate this data by many of the companies funding the surveys."

"We have found some online panel vendors lik
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SOURCE Frost & Sullivan
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