Lilly's experience offers more evidence that patents are not "indefinite lived

When Eli Lilly’s patent protection for its antipsychotic drug Zyprexa expired last fall, analysts sought information on how Lilly would make up for the loss of $3B in related revenues. They were comfortable in forecasting 2011 earnings per share of $3.67. In addition, most companies facing the patent cliff force significant reductions in sales expenses and overheads, and it was anticipated Lilly would follow suit.

Eli Lilly disappointed on both fronts, as Lilly is now predicting an EPS of no more than $3.20, and Derica Rice, Lilly’s CFO, stated sales and overhead expenses “will remain unchanged.” Investors reacted by taking Lilly down over 2% in early trading on January 5.

IPWire will continue to cover how organizations manage the revenue and profit squeezes that accompany a blockbuster coming off patent protection.