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Latest Lilly job cuts target marketing employees

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Eli Lilly and Co. informed another 200 employees Friday that their jobs are being eliminated, including more than 100 in the Indianapolis area.

The jobs are marketing positions in Lilly’s biomedicines unit, which includes Lilly’s bestselling drugs, such as the antipsychotic Zyprexa and the antidepressant Cymbalta. The affected employees can apply for other jobs within Lilly—although there are a limited number of open positions.

The latest cuts are part of Lilly’s plans, announced in September, to trim 5,500 jobs from its payroll by the end of 2011. In April, Lilly said it had eliminated 1,500 jobs so far. Friday’s job cuts appear to be in addition to that total, but a Lilly spokesman would not confirm that.

Lilly is making more money than ever right now, but beginning in October 2011, the patents on its besetselling drugs will begin to expire, threatening to drain the company of roughly half its current revenue by 2015.

When Lilly announced its restructuring plan last year, it employed about 40,500 workers worldwide. However, it is also increasing hiring in China and other “strategic” areas. As of March 31, Lilly’s work force totaled 39,380.

“Work force reductions will be ongoing throughout the next several months in order to meet the company's publicly stated goals announced in Sept. 2009,” Lilly spokesman Ed Sagebiel wrote in an e-mail.

Previous layoff announcements have impacted laboratory researchers, sales representatives and manufacturing—including the transfer of the manufacturing plant in Lafayette to Germany-based Evonik Industries AG.

Lilly is providing outplacement and job search help to all employees who lose their jobs and do not find new ones at the company.

More details about Lilly’s restructuring plan can be found here.

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