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Jimmy Carter Boosts Social Media Buzz For Merck's Blockbuster Drug

Jimmy Carter Boosts Social Media Buzz For Merck's Blockbuster Drug

The latest data from TickerTags provides some surprising insight into the major impact former President Jimmy Carter’s melanoma diagnosis and treatment has had on the social media popularity of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK)’s Keytruda. TickerTags monitors social media sites to identify trends by searching for words or phrases that appear together in social media content, such as tweets.

On August 12, 2015, President Carter announced his melanoma diagnosis. Since that date, Merck’s stock is down 10.0 percent. However, Carter’s diagnosis and treatment seem to have garnered some high-profile positive exposure for Keytruda.

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Carter was prescribed Keytruda on August 20, 2015, which raised social media awareness of the drug. On September 7, the FDA approved Keytruda for new indications, sending social media mentions through the roof.

Since the FDA approval, social media mentions have mostly been on the decline, that is, until President Carter announced on February 20 of this year that he is now cancer free, sending Keytruda social media mentions to their highest point since the FDA approval.

The graph shows how much exposure President Carter’s experience has gotten for Keytruda on social media compared to the number of mentions for leading competitor Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE: BMY)’s Opdivo.

President Carter’s case has even led to a social media campaign for the federal government to fund the drug.

Disclosure: The author holds no position in the stocks mentioned.

Image Credit: By White House Staff Photographers [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


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