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Eli Lilly – Developing Cymbalta Identification of the Strategic Issues and Problems Eli Lilly is a US-based company that manufactures and sells Prozac – a kind of anti-depressant drug which has been protected by a patent right back in 1988 (Ofek and Laufer 5)…
generic fluoxetine, etc.) (1). To prevent other pharmaceutical companies from grabbing a large portion of Eli Lilly’s market shares in the selling of antidepressant drugs, Eli Lilly and company is considering the need to replace Prozac with its successor. Eventually, the successor of Prozac is expected to be launched at least 18 months prior to the date wherein Prozac’s patent right would expire (18). The New Antidepressant Team (NAT) is composed of people from Eli Lilly’s R&D and marketing department (7). During the initial stage of searching for Prozac’s successor, members of NAT investigated a total of five (5) assets known as: (1) R-fluoxetine; (2) olanzapine-fluoxetine combination (OFC); (3) 5HT2 antagonist SSRI; (4) business development opportunities; and (5) Cymbalta (duloxetine) (7 – 8). In general, there are serious constraints in the first four (4) assets. Therefore, the members of NAT decided to pursue the future development of Cymbalta as the best option. For instance, even though the use of R-fluoxetine can prevent the side effects of Prozac which include sexual dysfunction and insomnia, this particular drug composition is patented by Sepracor. In the process of entering a license agreement with Sepracor, Eli Lilly will have to share part of its profit with the said company. ...
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