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About Eli Lilly and Company

Best known for its neuroscience products, pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly also makes endocrinology, oncology, and cardiovascular care medicines. Its top-selling drugs include Cymbalta for depression and pain, Alimta for lung cancer, Humalog and Humulin insulin for diabetes, and Cialis for erectile dysfunction. Lilly also makes medications to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (Zyprexa), osteoporosis (Evista and Forteo), heart conditions (Effient), ADHD (Strattera), gastric and lung cancer (Cyramza), and diabetes (Jardiance and Trulicity), as well as anti-infective agents.


Lilly has been around for more than 140 years and, unlike many other drug companies, has kept its operations focused almost exclusively on the task of pharmaceutical manufacturing. Until 2019, the company operated in two business segments: Human Pharmaceutical Products and Animal Health. Pharmaceuticals for human consumption accounted for more than 85% of annual revenues, while medicines for livestock and companion animals (including Rumensin, Posilac, Tylan, and Optaflexx, produced through its former Elanco Animal Health unit) made up the rest of sales. Elanco went public in 2018 and Lilly owned a controlling stake until early the next year, when it divested that stake.

The company co-promotes Effient in the US, Brazil, and Mexico with Daiichi Sankyo; Erbitux is marketed in the US and Canada by Lilly and elsewhere by Merck. Additionally, the company has a diabetes collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim through which they jointly develop and commercialize Trajenta, Jardiance, Jentadueto, Glyxambi, Synjardy, and Basalgar.

Lilly's steady operational performance places it on firm ground even as the firm enters a challenging time of significant patent expirations. For example, it lost patent exclusivity for Zyprexa for the treatment of bipolar mania in Japan in 2016. Its pipeline is progressing with new drug approvals and launches helping to offset the impact of generic competition on sales of aging products (such as Cymbalta and Evista). 

Geographic Reach

Lilly sells its products in some 125 countries, with the US market accounting for more than half of the company's sales. Europe accounts for more than 15% of sales while Japan accounts for more than 10%.

The company operates research, manufacturing, and distribution facilities in the US and 14 other countries in Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Americas. It owns about 15 production and distribution sites in the US and Puerto Rico; major production sites are in Indianapolis and Clinton, Indiana; Branchburg, New Jersey; and Carolina, Puerto Rico. Lilly's major international production sites are in Ireland, the UK, France, Italy, Spain, and China.

Altogether, Lilly conducts R&D in about five countries, clinical trials in about 50 countries, and has manufacturing facilities in more than a dozen countries.

Sales and Marketing

In the US, Lilly's products are promoted to physicians, hospitals, and pharmacies through direct sales representatives and contract sales organizations. Products are distributed through independent wholesalers, primarily AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson. These three distributors each account for between around 10% and 20% of annual sales. Internationally, the company uses a direct sales force in most markets, though it occasionally markets products through independent distributors. It also partners with other pharmaceuticals to market its products.

Lilly advertises in medical journals and markets its products at medical conferences.

Financial Performance

After years of steady revenue growth, patent expirations and a lack of new blockbusters have taken their toll on Lilly. Revenue fell in 2014 and has been slowly recovering since. In 2017 revenue increased 8% to $22.9 billion as sales of new products Cyramza, Trulicity, Taltz, Basalgar, Lartruvo, and Jardiance grew. Higher sales prices for products including Cialis also boosted revenue. These gains were partially offset by declines in sales of Strattera and Effient, and Zyprexa in Japan, all due to losses of exclusivity.

Net income had been following revenue's suit, but in 2017 the company faced a $204.1 million loss (versus net income of $2.7 billion in 2016). Drastic increases in expenses such as R&D costs related to recent acquisitions, restructuring charges, and a spike in income taxes led to the loss. Despite the loss, Lilly's operating cash flow increased 16% to $5.6 billion.


Lilly has sailed steadily through a number of ups and downs without making drastic changes to its business model or its growth strategy of conducting focused R&D (it spends about $5 billion per year on research), forming joint ventures and collaborations, and making selective acquisitions. It has some 50 drug candidates in clinical development stages, as well as additional pre-clinical candidates. Its R&D programs for human pharmaceutical products focus on six therapeutic categories -- neuroscience, endocrinology, oncology, cardiovascular, immunology, and other -- and include potential treatments for cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, depression, vascular disease, and Alzheimer's disease.

The company is also pursuing additional indications for existing drugs. Biotechnology has become an increasingly important area of R&D, with more than half of the drugs in Lilly's pipeline coming from biotech molecules (derived from proteins). Its programs are conducted both independently and through collaborations and licensing agreements.

Partnerships and acquisitions are also used to boost the company's pipeline. In 2016, the company entered a collaboration agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim to study the combination of Lilly's cyclin-dependent CDK 4/6 inhibitors and Boehringer's IGF 1/2 antibody for patients with breast cancer. The following year Lilly acquired CoLucid, gaining the pain management candidate Lasmiditan in the process.

After some strategic acquisitions, Lilly's former Elanco Animal Health unit became the second-largest animal health company in the world. The firm spun off a 20% stake in Elanco in a 2018 initial public offering; it retained its majority stake in the unit. Early the following year, Lilly sold the rest of its stake in Elanco in order to focus on building up its human pharmaceuticals operations.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Acquisitions are one key way in which Lilly boosts its development pipeline. In early 2019 the company acquired Connecticut-based startup Loxo Oncology for $8 billion. Loxo's first commercial product, developed with Bayer, is cancer drug Vitrakvi. 

In 2018 it bought California-based ARMO BioSciences for $1.6 billion. That deal boosted Lilly's immunotherapy portfolio with the addition of pegilodecakin, which is in a phase III trial for pancreatic cancer. The company is now buying AurKa, which is developing AK-01, a cancer treatment that was originally discovered by Lilly. That deal could cost up to $575 million, depending on the performance of AK-01. These recent transactions underscore Lilly's interest in oncology, particularly immuno-oncology, which uses the body's immune system to fight cancers.

In early 2017, the company bought CoLucid Pharmaceuticals for some $960 million. CoLucid is developing Lasmiditan, an oral medication for the management of pain caused by migraine headaches. That addition boosted Lilly's pain management pipeline.

Lilly also invested in its former animal health division, primarily through acquisitions, to help offset potential losses in the core pharmaceuticals segment. In fact, through acquisitions, Elanco Animal Health became the second-largest animal health company in the world. In early 2017 Elanco bought the US feline, canine, and rabies vaccine portfolio of Boehringer Inghelheim's Vetmedica unit for $885 million. Lilly spun off Elanco in 2019.

Eli Lilly and Company

Indianapolis, IN 46285-0001
Phone: 1 (317) 276-2000

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: LLY
Stock Exchange: , NYSE
Chairman: John C. Lechleiter
President and CEO: David A. Ricks
SVP and CIO: Aarti Shah
Employees (This Location): 4,000
Employees (All Locations): 38,680

Major Office Locations

Indianapolis, IN

Other Locations

Little Rock, AR
Fresno, CA
Newbury Park, CA
San Diego, CA
Washington, DC
Miami, FL
Augusta, GA
Fort Dodge, IA
Larchwood, IA
Orland Park, IL
Clinton, IN
Fishers, IN
Greenfield, IN
Indianapolis, IN
Plainfield, IN
Terre Haute, IN
Hutchinson, KS
Lenexa, KS
Hopkinton, MA
Henning, MN
Saint Paul, MN
Billings, MT
Branchburg, NJ
New Hyde Park, NY
Germantown, OH
Broken Arrow, OK
Tulsa, OK
Mechanicsburg, PA
Spartanburg, SC
Knoxville, TN
Hangzhou, China
Shanghai, China
Aracoiaba Da Serra, Brazil
Barueri, Brazil
Cosmopolis, Brazil
Cotia, Brazil
Goiania, Brazil
Calgary, Canada
Etobicoke, Canada
Guelph, Canada
Mississauga, Canada
Saint-Laurent, Canada
Victoria, Canada
Moscow, Russia
Windlesham, England
Beirut, Lebanon
Bogota, Colombia