Lilly’s Cymbalta wins new approval for anxiety disorder

Eli Lilly and Co. announced Monday that it has won approval to market star drug Cymbalta for a new use, an event likely
to boost sales of the medicine.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration OK’d Cymbalta as a maintenance
treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, which affects nearly 7 million Americans. Cymbalta was already approved
to treat acute attacks of generalized anxiety disorder, but the approval as a maintenance therapy means patients can take
the drug on a regular basis.

Many physicians have already been prescribing Cymbalta as a maintenance therapy for
anxiety, but the FDA approval allows Lilly to specifically market Cymbalta for the new use.

Sales of Cymbalta, Lilly’s No. 2  selling drug, grew at a 13.6-percent clip through the first nine months of
the year, and are on pace to top $3 billion for the year.

Lilly needs extra sales of Cymbalta
to offset the looming loss of revenue when its cancer drug Evista and antipsychotic Zyprexa face competition
from cheaper generics in 2010 and 2011, respectively.

Cymbalta, which was first approved as
an antidepressant in 2004, is now also approved to treat diabetic neuropathy and fibromyalgia, all in

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