“The affected staff range from frontline medical reps to the best medical talent trained in global settings,” one of them said.
The sales team was informed of the decision at a virtual town hall organised last week in conjunction with the media announcement of the deal with Cipla.
Confirming the development, an Eli Lilly spokesperson said the company is providing a comprehensive support programme to the impacted employees. “This includes a severance package, along with personalised outplacement services and counselling.”
The company spokesperson refused to divulge the number of employees that may lose jobs.
One of the industry officials cited above said the severance provides 45 days’ pay for each year for the number of years served.
Eli Lilly officials did not confirm this. The industry sources also said the move came as a jolt to the retrenched staff as they had no prior information.
Eli Lilly’s deal with Cipla brings the curtains down on its promotion activities for Humalog and Trulicity, and eventually its ambitions to build an anti-diabetes portfolio all by itself.
“Developing strategic partnerships is key to enabling Lilly’s global efforts to make innovative medicines available to more people around the world, including people in India,” the company said. “We are confident, based on our experience in other markets, that this new business model will allow Lilly to expand access of its medicines to more patients in India.”
Lilly said it will continue to maintain its existing operating model for the remaining portfolio of products including its collaboration with Lupin.
Lilly’s association with Lupin was bolstered in 2018 after it signed a distribution and marketing deal with the Mumbai-based drug maker to sell its once-a-week insulin injection under the brand Aplevant (dulaglutide) for type 2 diabetes. In 2016, Lilly had partnered with Lupin for Eglucent, a popular product sold globally as Humalog, and prescribed for type 1 and 2 diabetes treatments.