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Cymbalta Case Study

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Eli Lilly: Developing Cymbalta

Facts: Eli Lilly and Company

Upon serving the Union Army in the Civil War, Col Eli Lilly purchased a laboratory on Perl Street in Indianapolis and established Eli Lilly   & Company in 1876. The company first success in the pharmaceutical industry was creating a gelatin-coating pill for easy swallowing and Iletin, the first mass-produced insulin that improved the treatment of diabetes. The company gains national and international notoriety when it developed a drug called Prozac. Prozac was patented and became the number one drug of choice to treat depression. In 1988 the company was commonly referred to as the Prozac Company because of it direct –to consumer advertising which generated sales over 2 billion in a single year.
Key Issue 1:
The crust of the matter is that Prozac patent is set to expire in December 2003. Upon expiration of the patent, other pharmaceutical companies will have the legal rights and ability to produce generic brands of the drug. Eli Lilly & company, looking at the success rate of Prozac fears that if generic brands are introduced in to the market their sale will decline and the competition will be stiff among competitors.
In order for Eli Lilly to be ahead of its competitors, The New Antidepressant Team (NAT) was founded. Mark Demitrack and Brett Schmidli both took responsibility as Co leaders while John Kaiser and Jim Lancaster   were to play pivotal roles.
Key Issues 2
The key mandate of the New Antidepressant Team (NAT) in 1998 was to find a better and more effective successor to Prozac before the patent expires. The team must conduct research and clinical trails to get FDA approval. Experts in the pharmaceutical industries and the New England Journal of Medicine mentioned that on the average, it takes about 12 years for a new drug to travel from the Laboratory to the medicine cabinet at home.   Secondly, only one in five of the drugs tested in human gets FDA approval for use...

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