Eli Lilly - 10 Largest U.S. Patent Losses
Company: Eli Lilly
2010 U.S. sales: $2.495 billion/$5.026 billion global
Impact: 19.4% of U.S. sales
Exclusivity expires: October 2011
Due to safety questions and highly publicized litigation--not to mention a $1.42 billion off-label marketing settlement--Zyprexa sales have flattened out over the last two years. The drug remains Lilly's biggest worldwide seller, and that fact has analysts and investors worried. Lilly admits the post-Zyprexa era will be tough. It even has a code name for that period: Years YZ.
CEO John Lechleiter (photo) faces the question regularly: What's going to take Zyprexa's place? He has fought off the notion Lilly needs to make a convenient marriage once Zyprexa goes off patent. The words "no megamergers" have passed his lips so often, they're almost a mantra. He has reminded the world that Lilly dealt with losing protection on a major CNS drug before: Prozac. Still, with Cymbalta's patent expiration looming, the company will soon have another multibillion-dollar gap to fill.