It’s a prime example of the power of Twitter

On Friday, November 11, around 19:30 Paris time, a message shared by the fake account announced the free insulin.

David A. Ricks, CEO of Eli Lilly, received some very bad news: On Friday, November 11, around 7:30 p.m. Paris time, a message shared by a fake account posing as the real company said insulin would now be available. It is currently sold in pharmacies in the United States for $82.41 for individual vials and $159.12 for a pack of five pens (Insulin Lispro Injection, Eli Lilly). A mini-scandal in the US and a visible oddity in France, because generic insulin is 100% covered by social security.

1. But what exactly is insulin?

The British Diabetes Association explains that insulin is a hormone discovered in 1921 by Sir Frederick Banting, Charles Best and JJR Macleod at the University of Toronto. This hormone, produced naturally by the pancreas, allows glucose (sugar) to enter the cells. body” completes the Diabetes Quebec association. People with diabetes need insulin to overcome the lack of sugar in their body.

The Ministry of Solidarity, Autonomy and Disabled Persons reminds that “diabetes is a chronic disease characterized by the presence of excess sugar in the blood, called hyperglycemia. The long-term hyperglycemia of diabetes exposes you to many complications. Type 2 diabetes is the most common (more than 90%) and is increasing worldwide. This increase is due to lifestyle changes, especially diet and physical activity. In France in 2019, about 4 million people were identified as diabetics by health insurance. As part of the Government’s national health strategy 2018-2022, many tips have been put in place to reduce the risk of diabetes in adults and children.

In 1920, scientists already identified groups of cells called islets in the pancreas that produce insulin, and found that those with type 1 diabetes lack these cells. breakthroughs in history, saving millions of lives worldwide and leading to a century of diabetes discovery. On January 23, 1923, Banting, Collip, and Best bought the American patent for insulin and sold it to the University of Toronto for $1. “Insulin doesn’t belong to me, it belongs to the world,” Banting said.

How to explain the current price of insulin in the US? First, in the 20th century, Eli Lilly signed a contract with the University of Toronto and paid the latter a 5% royalty for every vial of animal-derived insulin sold until 1967. exchange for royalties, then fell into the public domain. The Eli Lily website states that “the majority of our sold insulins are not patented.” However, because of the company’s “5,000 people, engineers and scientists” and the “1.2 billion” invested since 2012 to improve the insulin production process, Eli Lilly suggests that a month’s treatment will cost about $95 for most of its customers. Those with “co-pay” (a private social security system run by pharmaceutical companies and parallel to social insurance) will be able to benefit from the insulin program for $35. Only the poorest with Medicaid or Medicare coverage (federally funded) are not eligible.

A simple tweet on the Twitter social network wipes out 15 billion in capitalization

Anat Ashkenazi (CFO) Stephen F. Fry (HR), Anat Hakim (Consultant), Edgardo Hernandez (Operations), Patrick Jonsson (President, United States of America), all members of the executive committee, the news was a bombshell. : “Excited to announce that insulin is now free,” a tweet from a Twitter account claiming to be Eli Lilly announced last Friday. Minutes later, the announcement, which was retweeted hundreds of times and liked thousands of times, had a direct impact on the markets: less than three hours after the announcement, a massive stock selloff sent the stock market plummeting. % and removed the capitalization of 15 billion dollars!

In the question? The popular Twitter verification, which takes the form of a small blue logo next to the account name and is temporarily implemented by the company’s new president, Elon Musk. Quickly discontinued, this new growth strategy of the social network was to allow all users to get the little blue logo for $8 a month. Obviously, like many people, they took the opportunity to create parody accounts to mock real companies Coca Cola.

However, in addition to the democratization of certification, which is necessary, the problem of eliminating controversial remarks for a legal or natural person.

How to avoid this kind of abuse again? Official identity verification is required for those wishing to receive a verification badge. There are many tools available: video interviews, presenting an ID, even taking a selfie with an ID, or even checking a professional email. In addition, a probationary period of 3 to 6 months may be made mandatory. In a specific case, the social network “Twitter” may restrict likes and retweets in the first hours of the article’s publication.

Finally, and more importantly, the ability of a business or individual to remove false information from the internet and social media is critical. Today, many individuals, firms and individuals are left helpless because the complaints process is long, costly and very slow when it comes to justice. That’s why Google, Instagram, Facebook or even Twitter, with the help of government authorities, should set up buttons that allow a victim like Eli Lilly to automatically delete the controversial post or posts within an hour.

Freedom of expression is out of the question when the target is moral or private. Justice, unlike social networks, is a means of critical capture when serious. Even if the interest of the social network is to create content, this should not be done at the expense of the reputation of the defamed persons. All too often, rumors on the Internet contribute to the animal behavior already described by Gustave Lebo in his analysis of crowds, due to the lack of rapid, automatic deletion of false posts. Only public institutions and individuals should be able to be criticized unfiltered in the public space.

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