Eli Lilly Announces Plans to Restructure, Cut 4,500 Jobs

September 16, 2009

Indianapolis-based drugmaker Eli Lilly & Co. announced that it will restructure its operations by January and cut expenses by $1 billion by the end of 2011, a move that will slash payroll by 4,500 jobs.

Job cuts will reduce the company’s workforce to 35,000 employees, and officials will release further details on the changes on December 10, according to a news release.

In a news release, Lilly chairman and CEO John Lechleiter cited health care reform, generic competition and expiring patents among reasons for the reorganization. Among Eli Lilly’s top products, compound patents for its pancreatic cancer drug Gemzar and the schizophrenia drug Zyprexa expire in 2010 and 2011, respectively, according to its financial reports.

The Justice Department announced in January that the company agreed to pay roughly $1.4 billion and plead guilty to promoting Zyprexa for treatment of dementia. Patents also expire on Eli drugs for depression, diabetes and osteoporosis in 2012 and 2013.

The company named leaders for its new units, effective November 1.

John Johnson, CEO of Eli Lilly subsidiary ImClone Systems, will head the cancer unit. Enrique Conterno, president of the company’s U.S. operations, Lilly USA, will oversee its diabetes business. Bryce Carmine, Eli Lilly’s executive vice president of marketing and sales, and Jacques Tapiero, president of its intercontinental region, will head the established markets and emerging markets units, respectively.

Jeffrey Simmons will continue to lead the company’s animal health business, Elanco. Tim Garnett and Tom Verhoeven were appointed to head the company’s Development Center of Excellence. Garnett is Eli Lilly’s chief medial officer and senior vice president of global medical, regulatory and safety. Verhoeven is senior vice president of global product development.

Filed by Melanie Evans of Modern Healthcare, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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