Lilly cuts 500 jobs in Indianapolis location

4/21/2008

INDIANAPOLIS In an attempt to cut costs, Eli Lilly and Co. announced plans Friday to cut 500 more jobs in Indianapolis, according to published reports.

The job cuts would amount to 4 percent of the workforce in Indianapolis, reducing the number of employees to 12,000 from the 14,236-employee peak in 2004. Although, rather than laying off workers, the company has offered buyouts mostly to employees who are close to retiring; specifically, machine operators, technicians, plant engineers and research and development workers.

According to published reports, Lilly has outsourced 40 percent of its information technology, 20 percent of its manufacturing and about 20 percent of its U.S. sales to cut company costs. In a larger scope, Lilly has cut 4,800 jobs worldwide since 2003. These efforts are in reaction to losing patent exclusivity rights for its top-selling drug Zyprexia, which will expire in 2011, but the company remains adamant that it will not lay off workers if they don’t accept the buyouts.

Linda Bannister, a drug analyst for Edward Jones in Des Peres, Mo. said of the job cuts that, “What we’re seeing across the whole industry is companies doing cutting and restructuring in an effort to become more competitive.”

The company stated that about 430 of the cuts will come from its manufacturing operations and about another 70 from research and development operations, although Lilly states that it will keep its factories in Indianapolis open.

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