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Lechleiter Likes Lilly--A Lot

Thursday, 28 Feb 2008 | 9:50 AM ET

When Schering-Plough Chairman and CEO Fred Hassan recently decided to buy another $2 million worth of SGP shares in the wake of the Vytorin study takedown, the company put out a press release.

The drugmaker wanted to show the market that its leader thinks the stock is a screaming buy, even though the lawyers are making Hassan wait until after the full study results are presented next month to make the purchase.

Well, now the CEO-designate of Eli Lilly , John Lechleiter, is also putting his money where his mouth is. Earlier this week he plunked down a million bucks from his personal bank account to buy LLY stock.

But the company didn't put out a press release. Word of the purchase was apparently planted with a couple of business reporters (or maybe they dug it up) in Lilly's hometown of Indianapolis and later in an email from a Lilly PR guy to me and Dylan Ratigan at CNBC.

LLY shares look like they'll trade lower today on news the FDA won't approve a long-acting injectable form of its schizophrenia drug Zyprexa over "excessive sedation" concerns.

A recent SEC filing shows Lechleiter will make $1.4 million a year, but be eligible for as much as a $4 million bonus. He takes over April 1st.

Questions? Comments? Pharma@cnbc.com

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