Despite recently announcing global restructuring which will see job cuts, Eli Lilly has announced plans to expand its presence in Japan.

Newton Crenshaw, the president of Eli Lilly Japan, told journalists at a press conference in Tokyo that the firm plans to hire an extra 100 sales staff this year, bringing its field force up to 900, many of whom will be employed to promote the firm’s new erectile dysfunction drug Cialis (tadalafil), which is due to be launched in Japan later this year. He added that the firm is targeting a 3% share of the country's drugs market by 2015, from about 1% now.

Lilly's Japan unit had revenue of 82.2 billion yen ($701 million) last year and Mr Crenshaw said growth was driven by an 11% jump in sales of the schizophrenia blockbuster Zyprexa (olanzapine) which brought in 34 billion yen. Sales of the cancer drug Gemzar (gemcitabine) generated 13 billion yen, 18% up on the previous year, notes Bloomberg.

As part of its global restructuring, the company recently announced that it is closing a manufacturing plant in the UK and R&D sites in Belgium and Germany. It also halted construction of an insulin plant in Virginia and implemented a voluntary retirement programme for up to 250 workers at an Indiana plant.