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Executive Summary

The "F-D-C" Monthly Index of OTC stocks climbed 4.6% during the month of March to 161.0, rebounding from a dismal February when all four Components dropped. The OTC stocks were led by the Pharmaceutical group, which jumped 8.3% to 110.5. Pacing the Pharmaceuticals were Genentech (up 2-1/4 to 36), Paco (ahead 2-1/4 to 18-1/4), Par (ahead 2 to 10-1/4), Zenith (ahead 1-1/4 to 15-3/4) and Glaxo and Viratek, both up 1 to 12 and 11-1/4, respectively. Genentech's gain followed a 4-1/2 plummet in February, as the biotech firm continues to hover in 1984 in the mid-30 range. Enzo added 1/2 to 17-1/4. Other biotech stocks Hybritech (off 2 to 13-1/4) and Biogen (down 1/4 to 12-3/4) slipped among the Diversifieds. Fractional advances turned in by the drug group were Reid-Provident's 7/8 rise to 4, Nelson R&D's 3/4 increase to 13, Lypho-Med's 3/4 surge to 18, Smith Labs' 3/4 climb to 9-7/8, Teva's 1/2 gain to 2-7/8 and Cetus' 3/8 increase to 11-3/8. Largest loser on the Pharmaceutical Component was Mylan, which slipped 3 to 17-3/4. Scherer fell 7/8 to 13 and Immunex, which announced late in the month that human clinical trials were underway at NIH for its interleukin-2 product to be marketed under an agreement with Roche, dropped 1/2 to 6. Solid advances turned in among the Diversifieds by IMS (up 2 to 25-1/4) and Sperti (ahead 1-1/4 to 3-3/8) were just enough to offset Hybritech's loss, ULI's 4-3/4 plunge to 12-1/4, and Natl. Patent's 1-1/4 decline to 21-1/2. Overall, the group was ahead in a slight .1% to 159.2. Beecham added 1/8 to 4-1/2 and Chattem gained 1/2 to 20-3/4. The only OTC Component on the downside was the group of eight drug and medical supply Whslrs. The distributors stumbled .5% to 344.6, as S-P Drug dropped 1-1/4 to 9-3/4, Durr-Fillauer fell 1 to 13-3/4, and Owens, Minor slipped 1/4 to 13-1/4. The biggest advance among the Whslrs. was recorded by Ketchum, which added 1 to 16. Spectro was ahead 5/8 to 17-3/4 and Bindley-Western, FoxMeyer and Synergex were each up 1/2, to 14-1/4, 24-3/4 and 100-1/4, respectively. The Chains, up 6.8% as a group to 311.4, were led by Dart Drug (up 9 to 68) and Pay 'N Save (ahead 1-7/8 to 21-1/8). Dart's jump more than compensates for the stock's 6-point plunge in February. Hook declined 1-1/4 to 21-1/4, Medicine Shoppe was off 3/8 to 17-1/2, and Begley dropped 1/4 to 16.

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