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Lilly pulling non-essential medicines from Russia

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — One of Indiana’s largest companies, Indianapolis-based drugmaker Eli Lilly and Company, is pulling much of its business out of Russia due to its war with Ukraine.

Lilly announced Tuesday that it has “suspended all investments, promotional activities, and new clinical trials in Russia, as well as the exportation of non-essential medicines to [Russia].”

In a statement, the company explained its decision by saying, “We have an ethical and moral obligation to help alleviate human suffering.”

Tim Fort, a business ethics professor at Indiana University, tells I-Team 8 that the fight over economic power has been companies’ greatest advantage over Russia.

“Sometimes an event comes up that speaks to them as human beings, and they will say, ‘You know, we’re not doing this, we’re taking a stand,’” Fort said.

Fort adds that making that kind of decision is not always easy.

“From a pure ethics perfect perspective of saying, you know, the greater good is going to be for us to abandon this now, find more secure ways in order to provide those products in the long term, and get the heck out of there,” Fort said.

Although it is pulling non-essential medicines from the Russian market, Lilly says it will still supply some medicines to the Russian people.

“Our Russian operations are now only focused on ensuring people suffering from diseases like cancer and diabetes continue to get the Lilly medicines they need,” Lilly said in a statement. “Should we generate any profits from our sales in Russia, we will donate them to organizations dedicated to humanitarian relief. We hope for an immediate end to the hostilities and a resolution to this crisis as soon as possible.”