In his first public remarks since a false tweet inflamed outrage over the cost of insulin in the US, Eli Lilly CEO David Ricks defended his company's pricing—but also conceded it could be lower.
The tweet quickly amassed thousands of likes and hundreds of retweets as Eli Lilly tried to get Twitter to remove it. According to a report from The Washington Post, there was panic within Eli Lilly as staff tried to contact Twitter employees but didn't get a response for hours. Ricks acknowledged this week that the company struggled to get the tweet removed and found the situation "disappointing."
The Twitter wrath stems from longstanding frustration with US drug pricing, which is uniquely high, particularly for insulin, which is a cheap drug to make. Many patients with diabetes in the US can easily see bills in the hundreds of dollars for a few vials a month, and a recent study found that 1.3 million Americans ration their insulin.