The U.S. has long been the promised land for pharmaceutical companies. The U.S. features many plusses for drug makers, including its status as the lone market among developed countries that doesn't regulate prescription drug prices, high drug utilization among the public, and easy flow of capital. The combination of positive factors has attracted resources from around the globe, as seen in European drug giants such as GlaxoSmithKline
In light of recent events, though, one might question whether the U.S. is so great for pharmaceutical giants. Merck
All of these developments make Eli Lilly's
For now, Eli Lilly's efforts seem fairly modest. However, given the disruptions in the U.S. market, more aggressive moves in Japan may be possible. What's more, regulatory changes in Japan should allow foreign companies to more easily acquire domestic Japanese firms. Eli Lilly's renewed focus on Japan could be just a beginning.
Fool contributor Brian Gorman is a freelance writer in Chicago. He does not own shares of any companies mentioned in this article.