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Eli Lilly fake 'insulin is free' tweet reveals pitfalls of Elon Musk's pay $8 for verification idea

The fake tweet was a cause of concern as the essential life-saving medication, Insulin, is unaffordable for the majority of citizens
UPDATED NOV 11, 2022
A fake account of the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, which was verified through Elon Musk's Twitter Blue, tweeted that insulin is free causing a massive controversy (Twitter/EliLillyandCo, Michael Gonzalez/Getty Images)
A fake account of the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, which was verified through Elon Musk's Twitter Blue, tweeted that insulin is free causing a massive controversy (Twitter/EliLillyandCo, Michael Gonzalez/Getty Images)

Massive confusion broke out on Twitter after a fake account of a major pharmaceutical company tweeted that insulin is free. The fake account gained credibility for its word simply because it was verified through Elon Musk's Twitter Blue service, a new subscription put in place by the new owner that only requires $8. The confusion was later clarified but the incident exposed the many dangers of this new service that the billionaire mogul is trying to implement so ardently. 

Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly was caught up in the mix after a fake account called EliLillyandCo, which was verified, tweeted, "We are excited to announce that insulin is free now". The legit company clarified on Thursday, November 10, that it is not offering free insulin and apologized for the fake tweet. The fake tweet which garnered more than 10,000 likes, has since been deleted by the social media platform. Eli Lilly wrote, "We apologize to those who have been served a misleading message from a fake Lilly account. Our official Twitter account is @Lilllypad" The fake tweet was a cause for concern as insulin is a big problem in the United States, and not equally accessible. The essential life-saving medication is unaffordable for the majority of citizens.


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According to Human Rights Watch, 27 million adults in the States are diagnosed with diabetes and about 8 million have to use one or more types of insulin for their blood sugar level. If insulin is not used, the blood sugar level can spike up, leading to hyperglycemia, and other life-threatening complications. The most commonly prescribed type of medication is insulin analogs which cost around $300 for a single vial, leading up to more than $1,000 in a single month. These figures indicate that the price of insulin is eight times more than the average price when compared to almost 32 countries. Hence, the fake tweet announcing free insulin could have broken the Internet but was contained. 


Twitter verifies fake account that announces free insulin, people react

One user wrote, "It’s not free. It’s not really Eli Lilly saying this. And it’s another illustration of everything that’s wrong with the new pay-for-play ‘verification’ procedures here on Twitter". Another user tweeted, "A Twitter Blue subscriber is impersonating Eli Lilly to announce insulin is free. Some users believe the account is real. Still think $8/mo for a blue check is a good idea?"



One user tweeted, "So, this is a “verified” account on Musk’s Twitter. It’s a fake Eli Lilly account tweeting out bulls**t about insulin. Actual Eli Lilly account forced to address this. Hard to believe there were people dumb enough to think Musk would improve Twitter. It’s a complete s**t-show." Another user wrote, "The Eli Lilly thing is a great example of one end of the spectrum of mischief in Elon’s brave new world. Here’s one on the other end: A tweet from a “verified” US gov’t account, @STRATC0M for instance, announcing an attack against North Korea. There’s real danger here, folks."



One user said, "You want to know how disfunctional Twitter is already? This fake account tweeted this false, and dangerous tweet many, many hours ago. The real Eli Lilly company has already tweeted a disclaimer/apology. And yet, at 4:48pm Pacific time, this tweet is STILL UP." Another user wrote, "The fake Eli Lilly insulin tweet and the fake Aipac apartheid tweet are gonna accelerate the collapse. This place is now a threat to every brand that touches it."



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