Prozac. Cialis. Cymbalta. If you have a television or read magazines, you've heard of their drugs. Eli Lilly, out of Indiana, makes billions of dollars every year off the sale of their patented chemicals, which are used to suppress the symptoms of disease in the human body. Founded by a chemist in the late 19th century; today the pharmaceutical giant has offices in 18 countries, and its products are sold in 125 countries, with revenues exceeding $20 billion annually.
Beginning in 2012, all drug and medical device companies will be required to report their promotional expenditure numbers to the federal government, but several companies started disclosing their information in 2009. According to the disclosed information, last year Eli Lilly paid out more than $200 million in payments to doctors and healthcare providers for promoting their drugs. ProPublica.org's Dollars for Docs database is tracking 11 other companies' disclosures as well.