Why The Fake Eli Lilly Tweet About Free Insulin Is Sparking Chaos

Eli Lilly issued an apology on Thursday, November 10, 2022, after a verified Twitter account impersonated the pharmaceutical company and announced that insulin was being given away free of charge (via Forbes). An account with the handle @EliLillyandCo and the name "Eli Lilly and Company" tweeted, "We are excited to announce insulin is free now," sparking chaos.

Since the account used the same logo as the pharmaceutical company and was verified by Twitter Blue, the stunt caused mass confusion, prompting the real Eli Lilly account to apologize for the misleading tweet and clarify that it is not offering free insulin. The company also noted that its official Twitter handle is @LillyPad. This comes in the wake of a new Twitter verification system that was recently implemented, in which anyone can pay $8 per month in order to receive a blue check mark. Previously, these blue checks were only available to public figures, government officials, and journalists in order to prevent misinformation and impersonation.

What's the real cost of Eli Lilly's insulin?

Another paid verified account with the handle @LillyPadCo impersonated Eli Lilly shortly after the pharmaceutical company issued its apology for the fake tweet (via Insider). The second impersonator also pretended to apologize for the confusion caused by the free insulin tweet and then announced that the price of insulin had increased dramatically. "Humalog is now $400. We can do this whenever we want and there's nothing you can do about it. Suck it," the second fake account tweeted. Humalog is the brand name of Eli Lilly's fast-acting injectable insulin.

At the beginning of 2022, Eli Lilly lowered the price of Humalog to $82.41 per vial in the midst of an ongoing conversation about the high cost of insulin in the U.S., which is a necessary and life-saving medication for diabetic people. Earlier this month, however, the pharmaceutical company revealed that anyone can purchase their Humalog insulin prescriptions for $35 or less, regardless of whether or not they are insured (via WTHR).