In seeding trials the primary objective of the research studies is to introduce the concept of a particular medical intervention—such as a pharmaceutical drug or medical device—to physicians, rather than to test a scientific hypothesis.
Marketing trial is a form of marketing research, designed to target product sampling towards selected consumers.
Seeding trials take advantage of opinion leadership or SME’s – (subject matter experts) to enhance sales.
In a seeding trial, the brand provides potential opinion leaders with the product for free, aiming to gain valuable pre-market feedback and also to build support among the testers, creating influential word-of-mouth advocates for the product. By involving the opinion leaders as testers, effectively inviting them to be an extension of the marketing department, companies can create “a powerful sense of ownership among the clients, customers or consumers that count” by offering engaging the testers in a research dialogue.
Greater responsibility and accountability in academia is necessary to end the practice of marketing in the guise of science.
The obfuscation of true trial objectives (primarily marketing) prevents the proper establishment of informed consent for patient decisions.
Additionally, trial physicians are not informed of the hidden trial objectives, which may include the physicians themselves being intended study subjects (such as in undisclosed evaluations of prescription practices).Seeding trials may also utilize inappropriate promotional rewards, which may exert undue influence or coerce desirable outcomes
Paul Marsden; Justin Kirby (2006). Connected marketing: the viral, buzz and word of mouth revolution. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann. ISBN 0-7506-6634-X.
Sox HC, Rennie D (August 2008). “Seeding trials: just say “no””. Ann. Intern. Med. 149 (4): 279–80. PMID 18711161. Retrieved 2008-08-21
Krumholz SD, Egilman DS, Ross JS (June 2011). “Study of Neurontin: Titrate to Effect, Profile of Safety (STEPS) Trial: A Narrative Account of a Gabapentin Seeding Trial”. Arch. Intern. Med. 171 (12): 1100–7