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Eli Lilly: Developing Cymbalta

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Eli Lilly: Developing Cymbalta
Introduction: Eli Lilly and company is a pharmaceutical company that was established in 1876 by Colonel Eli Lilly, who had served in the union army during the Civil War. One of the products the company developed includes the antidepressant drug Prozac, which has been a legendary product for the company and has generated billions of dollars since its launch. As Prozac’s patent expiration date approached, thereby allowing the sale of generic versions in the U.S., the company decided to pursue a product to replace Prozac, named Cymbalta. John Kaiser, the marketing director at Eli Lilly and member of a cross-functional R&D team, new anti-depressant team (NAT), has been tasked to lead this effort. Kaiser prepared a presentation about the potential successor, Cymbalta, and convened a meeting with the NAT members to discuss its future potential. The goal of the meeting was to thoroughly analyze and discuss the pros and cons about Cymbalta’s development and strategic opportunities based on the different options of use. This paper will identify the strategic issues and problems the NAT faced in developing the new product. The paper will then analyze and evaluate the industry and market behavior by using a SWOT analysis. Finally, this paper will offer a set of recommendations based on the surrounding circumstances and options available to the Eli Lilly team.

Identification of the strategic issues and problems: Eli Lilly and company’s NAT members began the process of searching for a successful replacement to Prozac by looking into the strategic choices, possibilities, and successful launch of a replacement shortly after the expiration of Prozac’s patent. Cymbalta was considered as a viable successor to Prozac because it seemed a) to be as good as or better than existing antidepressants, b) to show no signs of safety precautions or toxicity issues, c) to meet previous unmet patient needs, and d) to show promising signs of development as a product to also treat pain,

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