Syndicated reports available for purchase
What are the reports
What is the image of a pharmaceutical treatment that users and potential users form when they read posts from patients on-line? What do the posts reveal about changing treatment and disease dynamics over time?
This is what the Flikarus syndicated reports answer.
Flikarus systematically collects posts written by users and potential users on-line and analyzes them to present a clear picture of what it is patients post – and read – about therapies, how they perceive the therapies, what kind of brand identify they are creating for products, and how the experience of the disease or condition changes over time.
Why is this information useful? Consider the following:
•User stories are much more relatable to patients than the PI or any clinical information provided by HCPs: What patients read on-line can and does influence treatment choices.
•Comments on-line represent an excellent reflection of the brand identity that the product is actually developing, not just one that the manufacturer wishes it had – it reflects what users actually think and what potential users actually get to see.
•It does not suffer from the same biases as primary / ad-hoc market research into brand identity, competitive positioning, landscape, unmet needs, and other research. While it has biases of its own, those biases do not affect the reality of the type of image posters create for the product or the experiences they relate to other disease sufferers.
•Poster comments can reveal the unanswered questions, unaddressed needs, and uncover positive aspects of treatments that can be used to strengthen a product’s competitive position or to improve patient care.
•They offer fertile ground for exploration of how the dynamics of the disease are changing.
•Don’t you think it is important to know what the direct consumers are actually saying and thinking?
Patients increasingly frequently check on-line when making a decision about or comparing their experiences with a medication. What is said contributes to the brand image of the product.
Tracking on-line commentary can help detect trends in shifting perceptions, especially as markets prepare for new product entrants, as news stories develop, and as the market evolves in general.
While patients most frequently seek out product descriptions on established websites (e.g., drugs.com or wikipedia.org), other patients’ experiences offer a more immediate comparison and are more likely to contain information about a particular concern patients have (e.g., “is it as bad as product xyz?”, “how bad is the fatigue in real life?”, “how do I actually get the doctor to give me product trh?”).
Patients can and do start conversations with their HCPs, request medications, medication changes, and make medication selections, based on the information they read on-line.
Furthermore, monitoring on-line comments can serve as an alert to the themes in treatment or care that are waning and rising among the patients. Since Flikarus provides several analysis tracking trends over time, such changes can be monitored via our reports.
Primary market research is an invaluable tool in answering questions. The Flikarus reports are not meant to replace or supplant insights that can be gained from such research. Instead, Flikarus provides answers to different questions from those asked by primary MR. In addition, it provides data coming from a very wide range of respondents – any and all who post on-line – which means that its sample does not suffer from the same biases as primary MR samples.
The Flikarus reports detail what customers and potential customers say about specific products and what users and potential users could read about potential products if they search for information on-line.
In essence, the reports detail what the products’ reputation is on-line and how they are presented – and perceived – versus competitors. This can be especially important when considering what potential users, selecting between multiple brands, could believe when viewing this information on-line.
Flikarus reports are NOT primary market research insofar as they do not ask questions specific to particular strategy. Instead, they detail what users and potential users are talking about over time, what concerns are rising or falling, and how the various products “perform” across various metrics according to the posters.
In short: If you wish to test a hypothesis relating to your strategy, going with primary market research is the best way to go. But if you want to know what users and potential users are saying and doing on-line, how they are discussing and what they are reading about products and treatment in general, then the Flikarus reports provide that information.
Flikarus has a standard procedure in place for collecting posts about products.
The procedure reproducing the process users and potential users are most likely to follow when searching for information about the product on-line.
For more details, see the reports’ appendix or contact Flikarus.
The methodology is proprietary. There are two components to the website selection:
Based on Alexa rankings, patient comments about specific products posted in the top-20 most popular health-oriented sites are included. Only some of these sites allow patient comments, therefore those that do not do so (e.g., Mayoclinic.org, NIH.gov) are not included by default.
The second component relies on organic Internet searches, conducted approximately 1-3 months before the reports are issued. Flikarus establishes the websites most likely to emerge as a result of searches for the individual products (e.g., searching for “Selzentry”). Based on several independent searches, key websites for comment harvesting are identified. Since >95% of all clicks come from the first two pages of internet search results, patient comments from the websites occurring on the first two pages of searches using most popular search engines are included.
The final number of posts in each report is included in the methodology description for each report.
The methodology means that the exact websites and posts included will vary from report to report.
The first report in the therapeutic area collects user and potential user posts from the past 1-3 years of report issue (depending on volume of comments, number/launch dates of therapies included).
Subsequent waves are based on the past 6-18 months. Since reports are issued roughly annually, this means that there are no blanks in coverage after issuance of the first report.
Every report differs concerning the number of posts it includes. Please see individual report descriptions to find out how many comments are included in that report. As an example, the HCV August 2016 report is based on 1,253 individual posts collected from across websites, representing key therapies (Sovaldi, Olysio, Daklinza, Harvoni, Viekira Pak, Zepatier, Technivie).
Treatments have different numbers of posts due to difference of frequency with which users or potential users post about those treatments.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Posts are on a variety of topics and can emphasize or fail to discuss different aspects of user or potential user experience. As a result, specific aspects of analysis (e.g., review of side effects, treatment history, or poster background) generally rely on a subset of posts for each treatment, since analysis can only include posts that mention relevant information.
The results are analyzed in a methodologically consistent fashion, which means that they are valid within the scope of what they are: They faithfully reflect the content of on-line posts by users and potential users of products.
However, it is relatively well established that people who POST on-line, and especially CUSTOMERS who post on-line, tend to be different from the general population.
As such, Flikarus does not claim that the data reported in its syndicated reports are representative of all users and potential users (that is what primary market research can provide).
What the reports from Flikarus accomplish is to present the views of a population that is very influential because its experiences and stories are read or watched by other potential customers on-line and they can give early warning signs about changing treatment perceptions and/or treatment trends over time.
Please see the response concerning “Are the results valid”.
The sentiment score is a key variable in the Flikarus reports.
To establish the score, all posts are read and receive a rating, ranging from 1-5 (1=very negative, 3=neutral, 5=very positive) concerning how the product being described is perceived. Each post is rated twice. When both ratings are the same, that is the final sentiment rating used; when there is a discrepancy, the discrepancy is discussed and mutual agreement must be reached on the final score.
The Flikarus sentiment analysis does not rely on automated scoring as that, at present, still does not perform as well as human evaluation. Furthermore, the sentiment rating is measured for the product being discussed, not the sentiment in the post as a whole. This is important as posters can frequently have negative experiences with their healthcare providers or disease symptoms yet feel positively about the treatments, or vice versa.
Flikarus includes all posts from target websites that contain personal experiences of users or potential users relating to the product or containing questions about those products from users or potential users.
The posts do NOT include content generated by apparent non-users or non-potential-users or posts containing purely clinical data about the products.
If you have questions about the methodology, please review the Flikarus website or any report you may have purchased to see if your questions are already answered.
If your questions are not covered by the website or a report, reach out to Flikarus: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will get back to you as soon as possible.
It may be possible to purchase the entire report or just the Executive Summary. The full report contains more details and some additional data that will not be necessarily covered by the Executive Summary. To find out about pricing for just the Executive Summary, please email email@example.com.
Please visit the Flikarus website to see the range of reports offered: http://www.flikarus.com/reports.
In general, a new report is released for a new therapeutic area / treatment category every other month.
Release dates for upcoming reports can be found on the Flikarus website. You can pre-purchase a report if you wish.
If there is a particular therapeutic area in which you are interested that is not listed on the site, feel free to reach out to Flikarus to discuss any plans the company may have to produce such a report.
Flikarus begins each therapeutic area work by issuing the first wave of findings. Each of those covers posts written within the past 1-3 years, depending on the therapeutic area. It shows the results for key metrics in half-year or quarterly increments over this time (e.g., Q1/2 2015 vs. Q3/4 2015 vs. Q1/2 2016) for some of the key metrics.
Depending on the volume of new posts generated every year and amount of interest in the reports,updates to the reports can be issued every 6-18 months. You may ask Flikarus to keep you updated about any report updates by using the Contact form.
If you have suggestions for how Flikarus can improve the reports to make them more useful to you, reach out to Flikarus at firstname.lastname@example.org or via our website:http://www.flikarus.com/contact.
Pharmaceutical/medical device customers:
Unfortunately, due to Adverse Event reporting requirements, Flikarus is not able to accommodate requests for additional analysis made by specific pharmaceutical customers (unless those customers do not currently have a product on the market in the specified therapeutic area or are willing to have all potential adverse events reported).
However, feel free to reach out with suggestions for how future reports can be improved. Flikarus will integrate customer feedback into future iterations.
Non-pharmaceutical/medical device customers:
For non-pharmaceutical clients, reach out to Flikarus for cost and timeline relating to additional analyses.
Alternatively, Flikarus may be able to offer one-month-long access to the specific data set for the most recent wave of data in a data tabulation platform. That way, you can run additional data views (tabular analyses only) for the therapeutic area.There is no limit to the amount of views you can take. Flikarus can be on hand to help answer questions about how to use the platform, which also has extensive training videos and on-call staff to answer questions. Please note that any data available for access will be abridged from the full version, in part to protect confidentiality of posters. To find out more, contact Flikarus.
Flikarus does not have any adverse event reporting requirements due to its own data collection work.
Flikarus is creating the reports on a rolling basis in a syndicated fashion without a pre-determined, single customer in mind. It provides the same version of the report to any and all customers interested in purchasing it. No single customer has commissioned or is commissioning the reports sold by Flikarus on its “Syndicated Reports” webpage.
The reports that Flikarus issues contain only summarized results from hundreds or thousands of posts collected from the Internet. Side effects, etc., are shown on aggregated basis, without an identifiable reporter/patient. Flikarus does report percentages of posters reporting specific adverse events associated with treatments, along with other information potentially relating to reportable events (e.g., off-label use).
Flikarus does not include in its reports any quotes that could lead to a need to report an adverse event.
Depending on how a company defines an adverse event, purchasing and reading a Flikarus report might lead to a need to file adverse events. Flikarus is ready to provide a file of adverse events in the BHBIA format if required; this may require 24 hours to compile and will come with additional costs.
For more information, reach out to Flikarus directly.
Ethical considerations for Sentiment Analysis / Web Scraping have been described by several survey and other research organizations, including AAPOR, CASRO, and ESOMAR, under Social Media Research, Web Scraping, or similar topics.
Flikarus abides by the ethical recommendations presented by AAPOR (https://www.aapor.org/Education-Resources/Reports/Big-Data.aspx), Insights Association (, https://www.insightsassociation.org/) and ESOMAR (https://www.esomar.org/uploads/public/knowledge-and-standards/codes-and-guidelines/ESOMAR-Guideline-on-Social-Media-Research.pdf). Flikarus also ensures that it is GDPR compliant regarding protecting personal data.
In most relevant instances, Flikarus ensures ethical compliance with data privacy in the following ways:
- Flikarus only collects comments, video, audio, or other content from publicly-available sites (meaning sites that do not require membership/username and a password to access content) since the users post on the sites knowing their content is publicly visible and/or accessible and is meant for public consumption.
- On occasion, Flikarus may enter username-protected websites. If or when entering such sites, Flikarus uses a corporate name; it does NOT systematically collect user-generated content from such sites for analysis, but it may read through the comments and write brief summaries of main content posted there. NO individual posts are collected or stored, NO direct quotes are used, and NO references to specific posts are made.
- When collecting information from publicly-available websites, Flikarus does not store usernames or emails in its datasets.
- Flikarus does not disclose in its reports or share with any report buyers, personally identifiable information (such as usernames) about posters whose posts are used to create the reports.
- Flikarus does not share in its reports or share with any report buyers the full source data used to develop the reports.
- Flikarus prefers not to quote specific posts or parts of posts in its reports. If or when quoting specific posts or parts of posts, Flikarus makes alterations to the wording to make it impossible or extremely difficult for report buyers to copy-and-paste text into a search engine to locate a specific post.
To purchase a report, please reach out to email@example.com. Please specify the therapeutic area of interest and Flikarus will get back to you with bank information for a money transfer. Once the transfer is complete, the report will be emailed to the address you indicate.
Contact Flikarus with any questions