Eli Lilly to cut 5,500 jobs

Posted on 16 Sep 2009 by The Manufacturer

Global pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly has announced plans to cut 13.6 per cent of its workforce in response to the loss of key patents and the lower drug prices as a result of US healthcare reforms.

It is currently unknown if any of the 5,500 redundancies will be felt at the company’s European headquarters in Windlesham, Surrey or its manufacturing plant in Speke, on Merseyside. Most of the losses are thought to be likely incurred at the main headquarters in Indianna, USA, which is home to 14,000 employees

“While our financial performance during the past five years has been strong, we will soon enter the most challenging period in our company’s history,” said Eli Lilly chairman and chief executive John Lechleiter.

The company will restructure its business into five factions: cancer; diabetes; emerging markets; established markets; and animal health.

“We must take new measures now that will make us leaner, more focused, more customer-oriented and more competitive,” added Lechleiter. “The changes we’re making will simplify our organisation, clarify accountability and authority and speed decision-making.”

Eli Lilly specialises in mental health drugs and is the inventor of Prozac. Its other key drugs include heroin substitute Methadone and Viagra competing Cialis. The company was the first mass producer of Penicillin which it manufactured at its Merseyside plant.