Eli Lilly is offering some of its sales reps in the USA an “enhanced severance package” to leave the company as part of a field force restructuring that will see an increased focus on having more specialised staff dealing with doctors.

The company has announced a “voluntary exit programme” for sales professionals in the its diabetes, neuroscience and osteoporosis business units, based on their years of service. Lilly spokesman Ed Sagebiel told PharmaTimes World News that some 4,000 people are eligible “but caps have been set to limit the number of employees who leave Lilly through the VEP to limit disruptions to the business”.

He added that the company is not disclosing specific details “due to the competitive nature of this information”, but the programme will involve only “a few hundred employees”.

The VEP comes in advance of a restructuring of Lilly’s office-based sales organisation in the three units which will begin in mid-November, with a new sales structure taking effect on January 1. This will involve setting up smaller territories, “each with one sales rep who has deep therapeutic expertise”, Mr Sagebiel said.

Currently, the territories “are larger with multiple sales partners”, he added, and the new structure is “designed to help sales reps connect more deeply with customers and increase accountability”. A new “customer engagement model” is being developed by Lilly in Ohio and Wisconsin, based on “creating value for customers as they define it”, is showing promising results, Mr Sagebiel added.

He concluded that the changes “are a direct response to customer feedback”, noting that following “extensive research, physicians they told Lilly that they continue to want a point of contact with the company”. However, they also want to interact with a rep who has a deep knowledge of the therapeutic area in question “and someone who could add more value in their interactions”.

Helps in training scheme for ‘Russian FDA'
Meantime, Lilly has linked up with Chao Center and the Parenteral Drug Association to provide training to Rozdravnadzor, the medicines agency within Russia's Ministry of Healthcare and Social Development, which is considered as the country's equivalent to the US Food and Drug Administration.

Lilly noted that the goals for the training included improving Rozdravnadzor's knowledge of current Good Manufacturing Practices, advancing Russian standards for quality control, and “achieving an ongoing international dialogue” between the Moscow-based agency and other regulators on laws and regulations in pharmaceutical operations and inspections.

"Common global standards in pharmaceutical manufacturing are in the best interests of public health and patient safety," said Frank Deane, president of manufacturing operations at Lilly, and setting up this partnership “is an important step toward achieving these standards”.