"IDK if I can really take credit for this but I'd like to think the pressure helped," he wrote. People are lauding him for the very effective "sh*tpost."
Big pharmaceutical companies evidently take advantage of the common folks and it's almost as if we are being pranked every time we invest in medicare. Speaking of advantages and pranks, journalist Sean Morrow—who goes by the TikTok and Twitter username @snmrrw—took advantage of Twitter's new Blue verification initiative and tweeted to announce that insulin would be "free now" while impersonating pharmaceutical company, Eli Lilly. Although it was originally just a prank, Morrow celebrated on TikTok on March 1, 2023, after the company announced that the cost of insulin would be capped at $35 per month.
No only did this $8 tweet cost Eli Lilly $15 billion in market cap, it eventually led to an insulin price cap. I think we can safely call this the greatest shitpost in the history of the internet. https://t.co/CW35uNvQxA pic.twitter.com/GlGncFiuQ2— TW (@twesq) March 1, 2023
In the TikTok post, @snmrrw explains that he used Twitter Blue "to make a parody account," and shows a tweet from an official-looking account with the handle @EliLillyAndCo. The company’s real handle is @LillyPad.
The post managed to fool a good number of people. Officials from Eli Lilly "scrambled to contact Twitter representatives and demanded that the viral spoof be removed," The Washington Post reported. So, the company then halted all Twitter ad campaigns.
"IDK if I can really take credit for this," Morrow wrote in his video clip's caption. "But I'd like to think the pressure helped." The text overlay on the clip reads, "Good work Lilly!" and encouraged the company to further reduce the cost of insulin. Morrow's video quickly surpassed 200,000 views on TikTok. Morrow who is a writer for More Perfect Union, a corporate accountability publication, couldn't help but celebrate this win.
President Joe Biden praised Eli Lilly's decision to reduce the monthly cost of insulin by 70% while complying with the Inflation Reduction Act. Meanwhile, people in the comments seemed to appreciate Morrow's prank deeply.
"You have literally done more to help this country than any national politician," pointed out @chunkyb3. "Fun fact, they could probably still afford to make it free but won't," commented @djsolare. "You gotta tweet 'we are excited to announce insulin is now -$35' to even it out," suggested @turbobinch. "YOU ARE OUR HERO," declared @anilapioneer.
We apologize to those who have been served a misleading message from a fake Lilly account. Our official Twitter account is @LillyPad.— Eli Lilly and Company (@LillyPad) November 10, 2022
Huge news.— President Biden (@POTUS) March 1, 2023
Last year, we capped insulin prices for seniors on Medicare, but there was more work to do.
I called on Congress – and manufacturers – to lower insulin prices for everyone else.
Today, Eli Lilly is heeding my call. Others should follow. https://t.co/Kv57KFATe9
In an interview with Daily Dot, Morrow said that the announcement was, "really good news for a lot of people [who] rely on insulin. It's exciting. Just for the very fact that it happened and this change was made." He claims watching his parody blow up was worth the price.
"I immediately thought of a corporate greed angle. It really was kind of like an impromptu silly decision," he added. "It's not really about some silly little tweet. [Corporations are] profiting off of us, they rely on us. So if we get mad enough, if we notice that what they're doing is wrong enough, then we can hopefully make them change their behaviors."
In an Instagram post caption, Morrow revealed: "I'm not the first one to point out insulin pricing. I'm not breaking any news. this isn't a hot take. A huge majority of Americans agree drug pricing is ridiculous. let's make them know how angry we all are.
Eli Lilly CEO David Ricks requested that other pharmaceutical companies "take away the affordability challenges" of some current insulin prices. "We call on everyone to meet us at this point and take this issue away from a disease that's stressful and difficult to manage already," Ricks added while speaking with CNN. Brand impersonations through parody accounts have been creating havoc ever since Twitter launched its $8 paid verification service, reports USA Today. We wish more of these pranks actually turn out to be true, though. We could all do with reduced prices!