Lilly unveils $12M list of grant recipients

Lilly provided grants to nearly 500 organizations in first quarter; reveals list in a first for Big Pharma.

By Aaron Smith, staff writer

NEW YORK ( -- Eli Lilly & Co., in an act of transparency that's a first for Big Pharma, unveiled on Tuesday its list of nearly $12 million in grants to nearly 500 healthcare recipients.

Lilly (down $0.13 to $59.00, Charts, Fortune 500) spokesman Edward Sagebiel said the grants were not connected to any of the company's products or clinical trials.

"If we can operate in a more transparent environment and show the public that we're not trying to hide anything with these funds it makes us a more trusted healthcare partner," Sagebiel told "We're proud of the funding that we provide to these organizations."

The Indianapolis-based drugmaker posted on its Web site a list of 495 healthcare organizations totaling $11.8 million in grants during the first quarter.

Sagebiel said that more than 90 percent of the grants support continuing education for physicians. The largest grant, of $825,000, went to the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. Sagebiel said that grant supports 150,000 physicians on the latest developments in psychiatry. (See correction)

Organizations specializing in psychiatry, diabetes and cancer treatment were well represented in the list.

Lilly's top-selling blockbuster drugs is Zyprexa, a treatment for bipolar and schizophrenia with $1.1 billion in first-quarter sales. Other top-selling drugs include Gemzar, a form of chemotherapy for cancers of the breasts, ovaries, pancreas and lungs with $377 million in first-quarter sales, and Humalog, a form of insulin with $340 million in first-quarter sales.

Lilly is the seventh-largest U.S. drugmaker in the terms of sales, behind Johnson & Johnson (Charts, Fortune 500), Pfizer (Charts, Fortune 500), Merck (Charts, Fortune 500), Abbot Laboratories (Charts, Fortune 500), Wyeth (Charts, Fortune 500), and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Correction: A previous version of this story mid-identified the number of physicians the grants support. regrets the error. (Return to story) Top of page