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How Eli Lilly Lost $15 Billion US Dollars Due to a Fake Tweet

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Eli Lilly's stock price fell significantly last Friday as a result of a tweet posted on Thursday by an imposter account claiming to be Eli Lilly. The impersonating account made the audacious claim in a tweet that insulin was now free. Despite its limited reach, the post was able to cause a panic on Wall Street.

Tweet from fake Eli Lilly account

Tweet from fake Eli Lilly account

This occurred shortly after the launch of a feature spearheaded by new Twitter owner Elon Musk, which allows Twitter accounts to have a verified checkmark for $8 per month.

On Friday, the company's stock fell 4.37 percent, costing the company more than $15 billion in market capitalization. Lockheed Martin, an aerospace company, also lost billions in the aftermath of the tweet.

The official Eli Lilly account reassured everyone later that Thursday afternoon with an apology, confirming that "Our official Twitter account is @LillyPad."

Inuslin is a blood sugar regulator that is given to diabetics who are unable to produce this hormone on their own. Sir Frederick G. Banting, Charles H. Best, and J.J.R. Macleod discovered it at the University of Toronto in 1921, and was later isolated and purified by James B. Collip. It was one of the greatest medical breakthroughs in history, which went on to save millions of lives around the world. What's even more interesting is that they initially sold their patents to the University of Toronto for a dollar each.

The insulin market is currently dominated by big pharma companies, namely Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi. They account for the entire insulin supply in the United States and 90 percent worldwide.

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Insulin prices are currently out of control, and thanks to the fuss caused by this tweet, they are finally being brought to light. A vial of insulin costs between $50 and $1,000 as of March 2022, and a pack of pens costs between $100 and $1,000. Individual vials of Eli Lilly's Insulin Lispro Injection cost around $82.41 and a pack of five pens costs around $159.12.

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