Eli Lilly & Co.

Stock Exchange: New York Stock Exchange Ticker: LLY HQ: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States Employees: 40,655



Rank 17 in 2016




Falls 3 places to 20th. Eli Lilly & Co. falls across all Technical Areas, with weak performance, for example, in R&D, compounded by a comparative lack of public transparency in most areas of analysis.

Performance by technical area
Performance by strategic pillar


Falls 5 places to 14th. Despite public commitments associated with its 30x30 Program, it falls short on its public reporting of initiatives and discloses limited information about stakeholder engagement approaches.


Falls 3 places to 15th. Compared to peers, it lacks a comprehensive ethical marketing code. 


Falls 1 place to 19th. Eli Lilly falls to the lower ranks in R&D. It does not disclose access plans for any of its late-stage candidates.


Falls 3 places to 20th. Falls behind peers primarily due to a lack of data transparency and lack of public commitments to equitable pricing.


Falls 2 places to 17th. Falls back against stronger performers in the sharing of  intellectual property. 


Falls 5 places to 20th. Evidence of initiatives only found for health system strengthening, but not enough information was disclosed to show they meet all good practice standards.


Falls 1 to 12th. Engaged in a structured donation programme for cancer, but lacks evidence of long-term sustainability.


Improve transparency around access activities, objectives and outcomes. For example, Eli Lilly can publicly disclose measurable goals and key milestones for its newly announced 30x30 Program. Alongside this, the company can implement plans to measure the impact of this initiative, reporting on the results (whether positive or negative).

Develop access plans for key marketed products. Eli Lilly does not report having access plans in place for its cancer product vinblastine (Velban®/Velsar®), an off-patent first-line product on the 2017 WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (WHO EML) for the treatment of Kaposi sarcoma, Hodgkin lymphoma, and testicular cancer. Countries in scope shoulder a large proportion of the burden of Kaposi's sarcoma. To alleviate this burden, equitable pricing strategies could be applied to priority countries such as Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Malawi and Nigeria. Similarly, human insulin [rDNA origin] (Humulin®) for diabetes mellitus is an on-patent first-line product on the WHO EML with no reported access plans. The company could provide equitable pricing strategies for the product in priority countries including, Brazil, China, Dem. Rep.Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Tanzania and Uganda.

Establish access plans for more late-stage projects. Eli Lilly can establish access plans for projects across its pipeline, particularly those that are in late-stage development, including its nasal glucagon project for severe hypoglycaemia and DACRA-042, a novel oral medication for diabetes mellitus.

Review sales incentive structures. Eli Lilly can improve its commitment to ensure responsible sales practices by decoupling sales incentives from sales targets.

Change since 2016

  • Commits to improving global health with its new Lilly Global Health: 30x30 Program, with a goal to reach 30 million people in resource-limited settings annually by 2030. 
  • Joined Access Accelerated with is Lilly Global Health Partnership. It has also committed to measure impact and share results publicly via Access Observatory for one of its projects.
  • Discloses publicly the patent statuses for small molecules in scope via the Pat-INFORMED platform.

Pipeline​ and Portfolio

for diseases and countries in scope


Comparatively small pipeline: 27 R&D projects for diseases in scope (26 medicines; 1 platform technology).
Clinical candidates: 26, including lasmiditan for the treatment of acute migraine and a novel inhibitor for the treatment of tuberculosis.
Regulatory approvals: 1, abemaciclib (Verzenio™) for the treatment of HR+, HER2- metastatic breast cancer in combination with aromatase inhibitors.
R&D focus: non-communicable diseases (cancer and diabetes mellitus).
Access provisions: for 1 project, with provisions incorporated in partnership with the TB Alliance.


Comparatively small portfolio: 22 products (all medicines) for diseases in scope.
Portfolio focus: non-communicable diseases (diabetes mellitus and cancer).
Essential medicines: 36% of Eli Lilly's medicines are currently listed on the 2017 WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (WHO EML).
First-line treatments: 50% of Eli Lilly's medicines have first-line indications for diseases in scope.

Projects in the pipeline: 27*
Products on the market: 22
Projects for R&D priority targets with access provisions: 1
Essential medicines with first-line indications: 6

Business context

Two business units: Human Pharmaceutical Products and Animal Health (Elanco). Its Human Pharmaceutical segment has five therapeutic areas (endocrinology; neuroscience; oncology; cardiovascular diseases; and immunology). Its prescription pharmaceutical business has two therapeutic areas (neurology; and oncology). 

M&A news: 2017 acquisition of CoLucid, specialising in pain management for migraines. 2018 acquisition of ARMO BioSciences and AurKa Pharma, both focused on therapies for cancer.

Presence in emerging markets: In 2016, Eli Lilly reported sales in 72 countries in scope. Data for 2018 not available.

Sales in countries in scope
Revenue by geographic region

* Figure excludes 1 project that do not fall into the listed phases of development: e.g., technical lifecycle projects, diagnostics, platform technologies, vector control products, investigator sponsored trials and Phase IV projects.
**Neglected Tropical Diseases, while also communicable, are highlighted separately throughout the Index. See Appendix II.
***See Appendix IV for definition.

Learn more

View our detailed overview of each company’s performance in the Index, including breakdowns of their product portfolios and R&D pipelines.