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Eli Lilly Freezes Pay

Top staffers and executives at the drug company won’t be receiving raises this year, reflecting tough financial conditions.

Hannah Waters

FLICKR, DAVID GOEHRING

If a drugmaker could cut coupons, Eli Lilly would be doing so. Because of “the business challenges the company faces,” this year many of its top staffers and executives will not be receiving their usual annual boosts to base salaries, according to a filing made late last week with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

It’s been a rough couple of years for Eli Lilly. In August 2010, the drugmaker had to end a phase 3 clinical trial of their Alzheimer’s drug semagacestat after it actually made symptoms worse. And while Pfizer has been getting a lot of attention for losing its patent on Lipitor (avortistatin), Lilly’s patent on antipsychotic Zyprexa (olanzapine) expired in November and in just two months, sales fell 44 percent.

Chief executive John Lechleiter has frozen his own pay at $1.5 million each year for the last three years, which is already remarkably...

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