Eli Lilly is cutting 5,500 jobs by the end of 2011 as part of restructuring, it was announced in September 2009.
The company, based in Indiana, expects the plans to cut annual costs by US$1 billion.
The reorganisation will split the company into five business areas: oncology, diabetes, established markets, emerging markets and animal health. Lilly also plans to establish a Development Centre of Excellence, which will focus on the development of new medicines.
Although Lilly is yet to confirm where the job losses will take place, they will exclude strategic sales additions in emerging markets and Japan.
The company attributed the restructure to upcoming challenges for the company, including patent expiries, increased generic competition, rising costs and slowing innovation.
Lilly is currently preparing for the patent expiry of its top-selling antipsychotic drug Zyprexa (olanzapine), while generic competition has reduced sales of its chemotherapy Gemza (gemcitabine) since it went off-patent.
Further reading - A detailed analysis of the US pharmaceutical market is available from Espicom: The Pharmaceutical Market: USA (published June 2009)