How America forgot Eli Lilly insulin price gouging to hail pharma co's pro-choice decision to leave Indiana

How America forgot Eli Lilly insulin price gouging to hail pharma co's pro-choice decision to leave Indiana
Governor Eric Holcomb signed a near-total ban on abortion in Indiana which has caused pharma giant Eli Lilly to decide to shift their base (In.gov/website,Cristiana Arias/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA: Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Company stated on Saturday, August 6, 2022, "The company will be forced to plan for more employment growth outside our home state." The Indiana-based pharmaceutical giant, which employs more than 10,000 people in the state, made the statement soon after a bill for a near-total ban on abortion was passed in Indiana on Friday August 5. Just three years ago, the pharma giant was flayed by all quarters, including lawmakers, for gouging the price of insulin. However, everyone seems to have forgotten this fact in view of their current step.   

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Indiana Gov Eric Holcomb signed Senate Bill 1, making the state the first to institute a near-total ban on abortion, effective from September 15, 2022, allowing for abortions only in cases of rape, incest, if the mother's life is in danger or if "the fetus is diagnosed with a lethal fetal anomaly". Eli Lilly is the manufacturer of drugs such as Prozac and Cymbalta, two popular antidepressants.

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A release from the pharma giant, in reaction to the governor's decision, read, "Lilly recognizes that abortion is a divisive and deeply personal issue with no clear consensus among the citizens of Indiana. Despite this lack of agreement, Indiana has opted to quickly adopt one of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in the United States."

The release further stated, "As a global company headquartered in Indianapolis for more than 145 years, we work hard to retain and attract thousands of people who are important drivers of our state's economy. While we have expanded our employee health plan coverage to include travel for reproductive services unavailable locally, that may not be enough for some current and potential employees. Given this new law, we will be forced to plan for more employment growth outside our home state."

In 2019, two powerful lawmakers, Frank Pallone, the House Energy and Commerce Committee's chairman, and Diana DeGette, a top ranking member of the committee, wrote a letter to the heads of Eli Lilly and Company, the long-time leading manufacturers of insulin. In the letter, the officials asked, "Despite the fact that it has been available for decades, prices for insulin have skyrocketed in recent years, putting it out of reach for many patients. As one of the few manufacturers of insulin in the United States, your company is well-suited to shed light on these issues and offer potential solutions." A BBC article dated March 14, 2019, had stated that the price had shot up from $25 a vial to $275, 20 years later. However, a statement from the pharma giant said that 95 per cent of people using Humalog, the insulin it manufactures, in the US "pay under $100 a month for their prescroption."       

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The company has more than 37,000 employees worldwide. In the second quarter of 2022, the company recorded revenues of $6.5 billion, with a market capitalization of $292 billion.

Eli Lilly has recently announced its interest in investing more than $2 billion in two new factories in Indiana. The new plans would create more than 500 new jobs at the company and 1,500 construction jobs. Giving a speech at The Economic Club of Indiana, Eli Lilly CEO David Ricks said, "Our education attainment in the state is not good. The ability to reskill the workforce, I think, could improve. Health, life and inclusion, overall, I think, conditions rank poorly nationally in our state," indicating the state's political conditions in April 2022.

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However, Governor Holcomb stated regarding the bill, "I am personally most proud of each Hoosier who came forward to courageously share their views in a debate that is unlikely to cease any time soon."  

"BRAVO TO ELI LILLY"

There have been mixed reactions to Eli Lilly's statement. Majid Padellan, a famous political commentator, opined, "F**k Indiana and its anti-woman laws. BRAVO to Eli Lilly, one of Indiana's largest employers, for deciding to grow its business anywhere but Indiana."

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Kate Smith, a famous political reporter, stated, "Jumping in with some truth you guys aren’t going to like: Companies shouldn’t just ditch states that pass bad laws. They should stick it out, fight back and STOP GIVING MONEY TO BAD POLITICIANS. Great that Eli Lilly can pack up and leave, but there are tons of people who can’t."

A user said, "Completely irresponsible of Eli Lilly to wait until TODAY to let lawmakers know the consequences of their votes for the #hoosier economy." Another user stated, "Economic impacts of banning abortion starting to take affect. Doctors refusing positions in red states that have or will ban abortion. Eli Lilly rethinking any expansion in Indiana. The list will grow."

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This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.

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