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Digital IQ


Lundbeck recently registered a drug indicated for Alcohol Dependence. Alcohol Dependence is a substance-related disorder in which an individual is physically or psychologically dependent upon drinking alcohol.

In the pre-launch period leading up to registration Lundbeck wanted to gain insights on physicians, payers and patients’ understanding of the disease and the related treatment options. Through crawling social media conversations and online search patterns, Vertic was asked to provide digitally derived market and customer insights to deliver targeted offline and online marketing recommendations.


Social media conversations displayed a widespread perception that “excessive drinking” is not a real problem but simply a part of life. This conclusion was derived by identifying thousands of conversations related to alcohol consumption carrying no reference to the possibility of alcohol reduction.

Also, in other disease areas like cancer or diabetes, there is an almost one-to-one ratio between conversations describing the problem and general conversation concerned with how to address the problem.  In this case, discussions and content on the alcohol problem very substantially outnumbered those dealing with a possible remedy. By diving into the details of conversations and search patterns in the therapeutic area, we could decipher the current attitudes, related behaviors and barriers to understanding Alcohol Dependence as a treatable disease. These insights led to recommendations on medical education, messaging and channels to reach the target audiences. 


The DigitalIQ identified “Alcoholism” as the primary term used when referring to the disease formally denoted “Alcohol Dependence” across social media, search and online in general. This implied that an activity targeted at raising awareness of the disease as a societal problem, would need to consider the strategic option to leverage a known, yet imprecise term or instill a “new” term across stakeholders.  This is a classic example of the gap between the formal pharmaceutical vocabulary and the actual vocabulary of the stakeholders. In this instance the incorrect “Alcoholism” outscored the formally correct “Alcohol Dependence” by a factor 100+.

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Mikkel Arnoldi Mikkel Arnoldi Global Head of Vertic Healthcare
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