“We are excited to announce insulin is free now.”
That’s what the tweet from the verified Eli Lilly twitter account read.
Or so a lot of people thought.
After Elon Musk’s recent takeover of Twitter, the platform introduced a new way to verify your account, via an $8/month subscription. While many people scoffed at the idea of paying for the privilege of feeling validated, others threw on their cape to be the hero we didn’t know we needed.
The account, called @EliLillyandCo, not to be confused with the company’s real account, @LillyPad, adopted the same profile picture and for the same price as an entrée from a fast casual restaurant, adorned themselves with the trust-inducing checkmark beside their username.
Free insulin was an incredibly happy tease to the diabetic crowd, many of whom are crippled with debt from the enormous expense of the live-saving product.
The shareholders of Eli Lilly and the other insulin manufacturing giants were on the opposite end of the spectrum – panicking at the thought of not being able to profit on the lives of the less healthy. Eli Lilly saw their stock price plummet by nearly 4.5%, meaning the company lost around $15 billion in market cap.
This won’t do much to truly affect the David A. Rick’s of the world (CEO of Eli Lilly) – he brought in over $23 million in compensation in 2020 – it at least brings the ridiculous cost of insulin and other life-saving medications to the forefront of public opinion for a little bit.