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The Media

A $1 Billion Email Gaffe 314

Jake writes in with the story behind an explosive NYTimes scoop last week. It seems that the Times's 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.
Update: 02/08 17:19 GMT by KD : Jake writes in with an update: it seems that while Berenson did receive a misdirected e-mail from Pepper Hamilton, that e-mail did not contain a detailed description of the status of the Eli Lilly settlement talks. Berenson got his story from other sources.

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