Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Boxes of the drug Trulicity, made by Eli Lilly and Co., sit on a counter at a pharmacy in Provo, Utah, U.S. Jan. 9, 2020.

George Frey/Reuters

Eli Lilly and Co raised the top-end of its 2020 profit forecast on Thursday and reported better-than-expected quarterly results, as customers stocking up medicines such as diabetes drug Trulicity during the coronavirus pandemic boosted sales.

First-quarter revenue got a nearly $250 million boost from stockpiling of Lilly’s insulin products, Trulicity and psoriasis drug Taltz. However, this benefit would largely be reversed over the course of 2020, the company said.

Lilly raised the top end of its full-year adjusted profit forecast by 10 cents, citing increased demand for its newer drugs, and now expects to earn $6.70 to $6.90 per share.

Story continues below advertisement

It said it expects clinical trials delayed by the pandemic to resume in the second half of the year.

The company also noted that staggeringly high U.S. unemployment rates could force more Americans to shift from commercial health insurance to federal programs or become uninsured. Some 26.5 million Americans have sought unemployment benefits over the last five weeks as efforts to curb the spread of the virus shuttered businesses and schools across the country. As patients shift to Medicaid – the federal and states-run plan for low-income individuals – Lilly could see lower payments for its drugs, chief executive officer David Ricks told Reuters, adding that the hit would be more pronounced in 2021.

The company said 10% of its customers were on Medicaid, while 40% were commercially insured.

Long-term unemployment rates would lower Medicaid reimbursement for Lilly’s key drugs, said Citi analyst Andrew Baum, adding that there are cheaper alternatives to Trulicity and Taltz.

“We’re looking at everything we can do to ensure that people can stay on our medications and have access to them, and believe that some of these impacts will be temporary,” Chief Financial Officer Joshua Smiley said.

Earlier this month, Lilly capped out-of-pocket costs for insulin products, including widely-used Humalog, at $35 per month.

Lilly is also working on potential treatments for the coronavirus. It has begun testing its new rheumatoid arthritis drug Olumiant for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. It is also conducting trials on an experimental biotech drug in pneumonia patients, among other efforts. The virus attacks the lungs and causes pneumonia in severe cases.

Story continues below advertisement

Trulicity sales jumped 40% to $1.23 billion, helping drive a 15% rise in total quarterly revenue to $5.86 billion. That topped Wall Street estimates of $5.51 billion.

Excluding items, Lilly earned $1.75 per share, beating analysts’ average estimates by 27 cents, according to Refinitiv data.

Eli Lilly shares were up 2% at $159.84.

Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Coronavirus information
Coronavirus information
The Zero Canada Project provides resources to help you manage your health, your finances and your family life as Canada reopens.
Visit the hub
Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies