Eli Lilly’s CEO has defended his company’s insulin pricing two weeks on from a parody tweet that announced it would be free.

It’s been almost two weeks since a fake Eli Lilly account tweeted: “We are excited to announce insulin is now free”.

The tweet was met by celebration in the diabetes community but caused panic internally at Eli Lilly as they scrambled to contact Twitter to have it removed.

In the UK, people who are insulin dependent are able to receive their medication as part of their NHS treatment.

In America, however, some insulin products’ prices have increased by more than 200% between 2007 and 2018.

People with reduced or no health insurance have reported paying more than $1,000 per month for higher insulin doses

While insulin price caps exist in certain states in the USA, they have not had much impact as very few people qualify for them.

Speaking at the STAT Summit, Eli Lilly boss Ricks made his first public comment about the debacle.

“It probably highlights that we have more work to do to bring the cost of insulin down for more people” admitted Ricks.

Talking about how quick Twitter took take the post down, Ricks said “It probably didn’t happen quickly enough to our liking, and it demonstrates some of the challenges on that platform.”

Some people will benefit from the Inflation Reduction Act that caps monthly insulin costs for Medicare beneficiaries in 2023.

The law will be beneficial for older patients who struggle with the cost of treatment, but excludes others.

The situation is dire enough for the American state of California to invest in the development of a low-cost insulin.

Twitter’s new motto of “freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach” is being tested to limit.

A number of companies have pulled advertising from the platform with some, including CBS News, suspending posting on Twitter altogether.

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