Eli Lilly Strives for Better and Better

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A leading pharma company works to ensure that everyone has access to the medicines they need

At a time when advances in medicine and public health have changed the way we think about disease, there are are far too many people living without access to adequate care and treatment. In fact, approximately 7% of the adult U.S. population—that’s 18 million people—can’t afford the medications they need, according to the 2021 Gallup and West Health report.

Eli Lilly was founded in 1876 with a mission to “take what you find here and make it better and better.” Today, the company is as invested in that commitment as ever, and to ensuring that no one has to forego vital medications for lack of means.

In 2021 alone, the company:

  • Provided $3 billion in free medicines
  • Invested $7 billion in research and development
  • Moved forward with Lilly 30×30, a global initiative aimed at improving access to quality health care for 30 million people living in limited resource settings annually by 2030
  • Reduced the list price of Insulin Lispro by 40% and pledged $5 million to the Diabetes Impact Project to address diabetes health equity in three Indianapolis neighborhoods where residents are predominantly people of color.

Indeed, Lilly’s commitment to health is inseparable from its efforts on behalf of diversity, inclusion and civil justice. Last year, the Lilly Foundation provided $10 million in grants to support racial justice. Today, 46% of the company’s board are minority group members and 48% of its senior management are women.

This summer, when Indiana became the first state to pass a new abortion ban following the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade, Lilly made headlines when it announced a planned expansion outside the state, where it has been headquartered since its beginnings. The company framed the move in terms of a desire to attract “diverse scientific, engineering and business talent from around the world.”

But in the same statement, Lilly acknowledged the health concerns of its Indiana employees  in the wake of the court’s decision. “While we have expanded our employee health plan coverage to include travel for reproductive services unavailable locally,” the company said, “that may not be enough for some current and potential employees.”

Lilly’s purpose, as set forth on its website, is to “unite caring with discovery to create medicines that make life better for people around the world.” From Carpenter Group’s perspective, it’s a meaningful expression of a brand committed to marshaling global resources to create a more equitable and healthier world.