The Veriblog

The Subtle Ways that Words Influence Us

Words matter—that’s why we do the work that we do at Verilogue. We all probably agree that having clear and effective communication is important, but even more than that, the very words we choose can subtly impact those with whom we’re speaking. While most physicians try to provide succinct and easy-to-understand instructions for their patients, they probably don’t have the time to evaluate and choose between a plethora of words to create the most helpful and positive sentences possible. Who has time to nitpick words when there are a thousand seemingly more important tasks to focus on? Even just a few keywords can make the difference between a great doctor’s appointment and one that leaves the patient feeling confused or frustrated.

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Introducing VeriQual: Q&A with Stacy Hartung

You might know Verilogue as an “ethnographic market research company” or a “dialogue research company” but did you know we also specialize in other qualitative research methods?

Since 2012, Verilogue has conducted hundreds of non-dialogue qualitative research studies and this year we have committed to allocating even more resources to grow these capabilities so we can go further and dig deeper into the entire healthcare ecosystem to deliver more actionable, real-world insights. Recently, Stacy Hartung joined Verilogue as Director, Qualitative Research to help lead this expansion of our qualitative offerings we are calling VeriQual.

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Verilogue Supports #Equalpayday

Today is #EqualPayDay. In honor of pay parity, we’re thinking about how doctors and patients navigate costs from our fly-on-the-wall perspective. Out of the 15,000+ dialogues we’ve collected in the United States over the last year, about 5,700 mention the cost of treatment. We’ve found that health care professionals, patients, and caregivers approach the topic very similarly. Both groups primarily place the burden of deferring costs on insurance companies, referring to the role of insurance providers in approximately 70% of dialogues.

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Why Do We Need Linguists?

Imagine the preparation for an event like, let’s say, the Super Bowl. Coaches, players, trainers, and everyone else involved work constantly, together and alone, to be at peak performance when the big game rolls around. Now, imagine if, one day at practice, the coach just asked the players how they felt about their plays instead of actually running them. While the athletes could probably give relatively accurate feedback on how they think they’re performing, the best way for the coach to coach is to see the plays being run and provide feedback accordingly.

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Two Reasons Why Drug Names Can Be A Challenge, Linguistically Speaking

When I work on pipeline products, I always find the moment when drug names are announced incredibly fascinating, not just because it feels like the launch of a product’s identity in a sense, but also because the nuances of the name matter, maybe more than we realize. In the in-office dialogues, I hear the tentative way in which some physicians can approach the brand names of new products, (“I think it’s called”, “let me see if I can get this right…”) Read more…

The Top 3 Benefits of Message Optimization in Pharma

In 2016, Pharmaceutical companies spent over 5.7 billion dollars globally in direct-to-consumer marketing. This is a 9% bump over 2015’s expenditures, a large increase for such a mature industry. With the growth of digital interconnectivity though, is this surprising? Tracking ROI and campaign performance is easier than ever, and budget allocations have been as accurate as time can tell.  However, market research costs have not kept pace with advertising spend, forcing pharma researchers to be more versatile and flexible with their budget allocation. Despite the budgeting differences across departments, both teams share a common goal – developing and optimizing patient-centric messaging that resonates with patients, supports physicians, and best positions their brand.

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6 Steps to Harness Account-Based Marketing within Pharma

Marketing to the Pharma Sector can be quite challenging in today’s environment. Unlike normal B2B structures, these huge targets are comprised of some of the largest most profitable brands in the world, operating in arguably the most regulated sector imaginable. If this is not intimidating enough, some of these individual companies are comprised of over 100 brand teams all-focusing individually on one product or disease state. Read more…

Blogger Spotlight: ONC’s Response to ASCO 2017

Even though ASCO 2017 wrapped up over a month ago, we are still pretty curious and interested in what’s to come from the oncology community. We’re especially excited to hear what real attendees have to say about their experiences.


Our curiosity sparked us to reach out to one of our Oncologists who went to ASCO 2017, and find out what he really thought about the plenary session topic, which focused on a symptom tracking tool to help foster better communication and outcomes (link here).


With a topic so close to our hearts at Verilogue,  we were extra intrigued to hear a physician’s reaction!

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Are DTC TV Ads “Scaring” Patients?

A recent BBC article (“Medicine Information Leaflets ‘Too Scary’ says Experts”) illustrated how word choice and framing of side effects on drug inserts may sway patients towards not taking their medication. But why? The Academy of Medical Sciences report, which the BBC quotes, shares that patients may be confused, anxious, and/or off-put by the current way side effects are labeled “possible” or “serious” with little further explanation.


This got us thinking, how many times have you seen a commercial for a prescription drug (aka a DTC TV Ad) and not noticed the portion that’s dedicated to listing the side effects? Does this medium “scare” patients too?

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