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Pharmaceutical Giant's Stock Plummets After Parody Twitter Account Announces Insulin Is 'Free'

Eli Lilly and Company saw a 4.5% drop at the stock market after the fake tweet—and their apology only seemed to make matters worse.

Eli Lilly Logo with free insulin tweet
@EliLillyandCo/Twitter; NurPhoto /Contributor/Getty Images

Late last month, Elon Musk concluded the deal to take over Twitter and it definitely has not been a smooth transition.

Musk made the decision to introduce Twitter Blue to the world which allowed anyone who pays an $8 monthly subscription fee to obtain the verified blue checkmark, once reserved for authentic public figures.

Just as nearly everyone but Musk predicted, fake—but verified—accounts took over the Twitterverse. Though many creators of the "verified" accounts likely created them in good fun, one tweet by a fake account caused a plunge in the actual company's stock.

Last week, a fake account using the handle @EliLillyandCo posted that the real company Eli Lilly and Co was giving away free insulin.

The tweet read:

"We are excited to announce insulin is free now."


Given the handle had a blue check, many believed the tweet to be legit.

Just over night, the company's share price dropped more than $20 per share, from $368 to $346.

The company quickly took to Twitter to apologize for the false information, and Musk also paused the new verification system as other companies were facing similar challenges. The parody account's tweets have also been locked.

While some were glad the pharmaceutical giant clarified, many think the company should be apologizing instead for the continuously rising cost of insulin.

In response to the criticism they've received, the company pinned a post from March to the top of their profile.

It reads:

"If you or someone you know has difficulty paying for Lilly insulin, we have a comprehensive suit of insulin affordability solutions available. We want to help."

It is followed with a link to the company's solution center resource page:

Though the parody tweet definitely ignited false hopes in some, and, of course, caused the company's stock to plummet, there is definitely a lesson to be learned here.