Study boosts Cymbalta's pain app

Eli Lilly now has another arrow in its new-Cymbalta-indication quiver. A study released at the European Federation of Neurological Societies found that 31 percent of patients taking the antidepressant for back pain said their discomfort dropped by half, compared with just 19 percent using placebo. Relief for the Cymbalta patients came in the first week and continued through the 13-week acute phase of the study.

As you know, in May Lilly asked the FDA to allow Cymbalta to be marketed as a chronic pain drug. The company has been studying it as a treatment for fibromyalgia and osteoporosis pain, as well as back pain.

If Lilly gets the FDA go-ahead, it would be another boost to a drug that's already a big contributor to Lilly's bottom line. Cymbalta's second-quarter sales alone jumped by 26 percentn to $654 million.

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