The Power of Social Media: How a Celeb Post Boosted a Pharma Stock

We all know that social media is used by companies and individuals to reach the masses. It’s a powerful marketing tool that can boost a company’s brand loyalty, convert customers and create brand awareness.

There are companies out there who have benefitted greatly from the power of social media, and this post takes a look at one Instagram post that raised the stock of a drug company.


As medication used to combat morning sickness in pregnant women, Diclegis was approved for use by the FDA in 2013. It’s a combination of dicyclomine and doxylamine, which was originally introduced in 1956. It was eventually removed from the market due to claims that it caused birth defects, even though there was no such evidence.

Once re-approved by the FDA, the drug was marketed as Diclegis and manufactured by Duchesnay Inc. Studies of the drug showed that it was both safe for fetuses, as well as effective when treating morning sickness, when other methods hadn’t worked.

Diclegis and stocks in Duchesnay received a massive boost in social media in 2015. Pop culture icon Kim Kardashian was, at the time, pregnant with her second child and was experiencing morning sickness. In an effort to reduce the morning sickness she used Diclegis, and found that it worked for her.

The Big Boost

In July, 2015, Kardashian uploaded this post to Instagram:

OMG. Have you heard about this? As you guys know my #morningsickness has been pretty bad. I tried changing things about my lifestyle, like my diet, but nothing helped, so I talked to my doctor. He prescribed me #Diclegis, I felt a lot better and most importantly, it’s been studied and there was no increased risk to the baby. I’m so excited and happy with my results that I’m partnering with Duchesnay USA to raise awareness about treating morning sickness. If you have morning sickness, be safe and sure to ask your doctor about the pill with the pregnant woman on it and find out more;

The post was accompanied by a photo of Kardashian holding a bottle of the medication.

Kardashian, at the time, had 42.4 million followers, and the post quickly went viral with 450,000 likes, and causing a 500% increase in digital chatter about the drug in the month of July. The company’s stock jumped, as did brand awareness. Suddenly, 42 million people were now aware of the drug, many whom may never have heard of it otherwise.

The Instagram post was better advertising than the company could ever have dreamed of, and was likely shared and retweeted many more times through the accounts of other users.

A controversy about the post followed, with the FDA warning Duchesnay that it failed to properly warn people about side-effects, even though a link directed people to further information. The company complied with the FDA, and the post was subsequently removed.

Despite what followed, social media boosted a drug company’s brand awareness and stocks with a single post, and the importance of this kind of public relations is not diminishing. In 2014, 92% of marketers told Forbes magazine that social media was important to their business and increased traffic to their websites.

With increased brand awareness, opportunities for conversions, higher conversion rates and improved brand loyalty, every business should be participating in social media marketing.

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