Elon Musk’s new payment verification system for Twitter’s game has rocked the pharma stalwart Eli Lily (LLY) – leading LLY shares to skid on Friday – after a fake account claimed “insulin is free now”.
The tweet was uploaded around 1:30 p.m. Thursday from an account claiming to be Eli Lilly. It stayed online for several hours, gaining momentum from hundreds of retweets and thousands of likes. As of Friday morning, the fake account is no longer verified and its tweets are now private.
But that didn’t stop LLY stock from falling 4.5% to 352.30 in today’s stock market. Healthcare stocks were also heavily beaten on Friday.
“We apologize to those who received a misleading message from a fake Lilly account,” the company said on its official account.
The fake tweet is shown here:
LLY Stock Dive expands to rivals
Eli Lilly’s official account has been verified under old Twitter rules. The new verification system makes it possible to verify any account for just $8 per month. This decision has prompted the appearance of many fake accounts, posing as celebrities, politicians and historical figures.
Insulin prices have become a hot topic in the United States, where there are no generics. Without insulin, some diabetic patients would die. Lily, Novo Nordisk (NGO) and Sanofi (SNY) supplies 100% of the insulin used in the United States and 90% worldwide.
The decline in LLY shares also extended to its rivals. Novo Nordisk shares fell 3.5% to 111.47. Sanofi shares lost 3.4% and ended the regular session at 42.80.
In the third quarter alone, Lilly’s insulin products generated more than $878 million in sales. However, sales fell more than 20% year over year. Lilly noted that its Humalog brand insulin suffered price cuts during the quarter. On its website, Lilly offers a program in which insulin will cost $35 per month.
Company representatives did not immediately return a request for comment Friday morning.
LLY stock recently broke off a flat base with a buy point at 335.43, according to MarketSmith.com. Actions are now beyond the hunting zone by 5%.
Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.
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