The pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly plans to lay off 1,000 of its U.S. sales representatives in a "major restructuring," a source familiar with the plan said.
The layoffs constitute about a 30-percent reduction in the company's U.S. Bio-Medicines sales force, the source said.
Lilly, based in Indianapolis, Ind., is preparing for pending patent losses of key drugs Cymbalta, an antidepressant, and Evista, an osteoporosis medicine.
The patent on Cymbalta, one of Lilly's biggest sellers, is expected to expire this December along with several other patents Lilly currently owns. Evista's patent is set to expire in March 2014.
The losses will allow generic versions of both drugs to flood the marketplace and cut into the company's profits. Lilly, like many of its rivals, has faced difficulty coming up with new drugs to fill its pipeline.
But the source also said that Lilly intends to add 300 representatives for diabetes-related sales in the U.S. ahead of planned launches of two drugs in the late stages of development.
Lilly shares rose less than 1 percent to close at $58 Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock is up more than 17 percent year-to-date. What's the stock doing now? Click here for the latest after-hours quote.