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Faced with generic competition to big-selling drugs, Eli Lilly (LLY) plans to cut 3,500 jobs — or 8.5 percent of its global workforce – in hopes of saving $500 million annually.

Most of the cuts will occur in the U.S. through a voluntary early retirement program, although layoffs will take place as facilities are closed, such as research and development centers in Shanghai, China, and Bridgewater, N.J. Lilly currently employs about 41,000 people worldwide.

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