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WARNER-LAMBERT's PROCAN SR, ERYC SALES IN U.S. BOOST FIRST QUARTER VOLUME; LISTERINE UNIT SALES UP 17% IN QUARTER, OTCs BENEFIT FROM SEVERE WINTER

Executive Summary

Warner-Lambert's Procan SR sales in the U.S. were up 37% in the first quarter "despite new generic competition," the company reported in its most recent quarterly sales and earnings statement. The firm noted that the jump in Procan SR sales reflected the introduction of a 1 gm/sustained release tab approved by FDA on Jan. 16. The first quarter sales gain comes on top of Procan SR's 40% sales increase in 1984 to approximately $50 mil. Another older Warner-Lambert product recently showing renewed vigour is the firm's ERYC erythromycin. Warner Lambert said that first quarter sales of the product were up 46%, "due in part to an unusually high incidence of respiratory infection this winter." Overall, Warner Lambert sales increased 2.2% during the first quarter to $794.6 mil., generating net earnings of $59.9 mil., up 10.5%. The company declared that "sales of Lopid, the leading lipid-regulating agent in the U.S., rose 63% over last year's strong first quarter." Internatl. Rx drug sales were given a boost by the introduction of Maxicam into five more countries in the first quarter, the company pointed out. Warner-Lambert said it anticipates the "drug will be marketed in 29 countries by the end of 1985." New OTC product introductions also played a key role in the increase in non-Rx volume during the quarter, Warner-Lambert states. "New products such as Mediquell Chewy Cough Squares, a unique cough suppressant, Listermint with Fluoride mouthwash, and e.p.t. Plus early pregnancy test continued to gain market share," the firm maintained. Listerine, the firm declared, "continued to benefit from a new cosmetic plaque-reduction claim, increasing 17% in unit sales in the quarter. Sales of Benylin cough syrup, Maximum Strength Sinutab II sinus remedy and Halls cough tablets all benefit from a severe cough-cold season and registered sharp sales growth in the quarter. Sales of Rolaids antacid were also higher in the quarter." Also reporting first quarter financials, Erbamont noted that, expressed in lire, sales increased 23%, operating income climbed 74%, and net income jumped 50%. Erbamount said that "the major improvement in operating income resulted from price increases, largely in Italy and the U.S., and from cost reduction programs initiated in mid-1984." Chart omitted.

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