Lilly suspends Russia investments, will continue sale of essential drugs

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Eli Lilly

Lilly suspends Russia investments, will continue sale of essential drugs

(Reuters) – U.S. drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co (LLY.N) said on Tuesday it would continue to supply drugs for urgent medical conditions such as cancer and diabetes to Russia, but will suspend all investments and no longer start new clinical studies in the country.

The company said it has also suspended promotional activities and export of non-essential medicines to Russia, without naming these drugs.

The company did not immediately respond to a Reuters request asking for details on the non-essential drugs.

Any profit from continued sales in Russia will be donated to organizations dedicated to humanitarian relief, Lilly said.

An Eli Lilly and Company pharmaceutical manufacturing plant is pictured at 50 ImClone Drive in Branchburg, New Jersey, March 5, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

Global companies have been under pressure to pull back operations from Russia but drugmakers and medical device makers have argued they have a responsibility under international humanitarian law to continue supplying medicines to the country.

Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) and Germany’s Bayer (BAYGn.DE) said on Monday they would maintain a humanitarian supply of medicines to Russia, but would pull back from other non-essential spending. read more

Medical devices and diagnostic test maker Abbott Laboratories (ABT.N) late on Monday said it has suspended non-essential business activity in Russia, including all new investments, business development and advertising.

Other companies including banks JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) have recently said they plan to pull back their businesses in Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine, which Russia describes as a “special operation”.

Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri

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