MFG 2.0

A $1 Billion "Oops" At Eli Lilly

I know I've harped on this before, but a couple of new stories about how much damage a misdirected email can cost a company (especially, but not limited to, ones involved in litigation) brought the issue of over-reliance on AutoComplete back to the fore. (Quick note: You can set a blanket delay for sending your email by following the steps here.)

From Slashdot:

It seems that pharmaceutical industry reporter, Alex Berenson, scored a page-one blockbuster when he revealed that Eli Lilly was looking to reach a settlement with federal prosecutors over the company's alleged inappropriate marketing of anti-psychotic drug Zyprexa. A settlement figure of $1 billion was mentioned. This scoop dropped into Berenson's inbox when a lawyer for one of Lilly's retained firms mis-addressed an email to a colleague with the same last name as that of the Times reporter. Some online observers are speculating that auto-complete is to blame, but this has not been confirmed.

According to a Portfolio story about the Eli Lilly incident (they're calling it "Nightmare on Email Street"), the company initially blamed the government for the settlement data being leaked, while it turns out that "Blame the lawyers" was the appropriate course of recrimination.

That said, I can understand Eli Lilly's confusion -- choosing between those two targets is a tough call indeed...

TAGS: Innovation
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