Eli Lilly announces significant reduction in sales force

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INDIANAPOLIS – Layoffs are in store at Eli Lilly as the company makes cutbacks in its bio-medicine division.

According to Lilly officials, the drugmaker will cut hundreds of sales representatives by July. The company announced the cuts Wednesday. The sales representatives work in the bio-medicine division, which sells products like the antidepressant Cymbalta and the osteoporosis drug Evista.

A Lilly official who talked to Fox 59 would not disclose the specific number of layoffs, which  will be spread across the country with a minimal impact on Indianapolis. The reduction will include both full-time and contract workers and involve structural changes at the company.

Products within the division lose their patent protection soon, which could result in a drop in sales as other companies market competing drugs. Cymbalta loses patent protection in December. Evista will lose its protection in March.

The drugmaker’s diabetes division is planning to increase its sales force. However, that move won’t offset losses in the bio-medicine division.

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