SQUIBB CAPOTEN (CAPTOPRIL) NEW
SQUIBB CAPOTEN (CAPTOPRIL) NEW Rxs FOR MARCH TOPPED 100,000, Squibb President and CEO Dennis Fill said at a health care seminar sponsored by Alex Brown & Sons in Baltimore April 17. "We have a preliminary new Rx [figure] for March which for the first time will take us in the U.S. over the 100,000 mark and we're tickled with that because we've yet to receive our broad label," Fill declared. In a breakdown of Squibb pharmaceutical product groups, a chart from Fill's presentation indicated that total 1984 world sales for the capoten/capozide group were $174 mil., with $74 mil., or 42.5% in the U.S. According to estimates by McKesson's Pharmaceutical Data Services, total U.S. sales for Capoten at pharmacy acquisition cost were $66 mil. for 1984 -- a 29.4% increase over the $51 mil. in Capoten sales during 1983. PDS data does not include hospital sales. Remarking upon the time frame in which Squibb anticipates FDA approval for use of Capoten in mild to moderate hypertension, Fill said that he "expects [the] labeling to be significantly reduced in its restrictions . . . over the next three or four months." When asked how the introduction of Merck's Vasotec (enalapril) would impact upon Squibb's Capoten business, Fill responded that in the U.S. "another product is going to broaden the marketplace overall." ACE inhibition, he continued, "I think is coming into its field day in the years ahead. There's room for two products." As for the overseas markets, Fill said that Squibb feels confident of its position in Germany, France, and Italy, though he acknowledged that Merck has a good label and would do well in the U.K. Fill said that there was "no question" that the cardiovasculars were "driving" the company. For the Corgard/Corzide combination product, he noted that new prescriptions were "1% over in 1984 against 1983, but in the refills [the data] shows we have a substantial and building base; we have a 7% increase, so 5% overall." Squibb expects NDA approval for its monobactum antibiotic Azactam (aztreonam) in the U.S. within the next few months, Fill said. Noting that the drug has already been launched in Italy, he commented upon the success of the comarketing strategy that is being employed with aztreonam there, and, more generally, with other pharmaceuticals in the internatl. market. "The purpose [behind the strategy] is to get more sales clout, more representatives than we have in our own subsidiaries behind these products." In the case of aztreonam, Fill said that the "number one Italian mfr.," Menarinni, is bringing a sales force to the drug that is twice the size of Squibb's.
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