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Executive Summary

SQUIBB CAPOTEN 1985 U S. SALES ON TRACK TO TOP $110 MIL. (at retail acquisition cost), Pharmaceutical Data Services (PDS), predicted in its most recent monthly Alpha-Gram. "Even with the expected competitive launch of Merck's Vasotec (enalapril) later this year, sales of Capoten (captopril) will exceed $110 mil. (at acquisition cost) in 1985, the Rx audit firm stated. "It will likely become Squibb's number one selling U.S. retail product in late 1985 or early 1986, surpassing sales of Corgard (nadolol). According to PDS, Corgard U.S. retail sales were approximately $100 mil. in 1984. In the 12 months from May 1984to May 1985, PDS data show total Capoten retail Rxs in the U.S. increased 38% over the previous 12 month period to 3.6 mil. Rxs, while new retail Rxs grew 33% to over 1 mil. Over the same 12 month period, Capoten dollar sales growth outpaced Rx growth, climbing 50% to $84.B mil. at the retail acquisition level, PDS reported. Capoten is currently indicated for congestive heart failure patients not responding to the conventional digitalis and diuretic therapy and for last resort therapy in hypertension. The firm is awaiting FDA approval for use of the drug as first or second line therapy in mild to moderate hypertension. At an analysts meeting in April, Squibb President Dennis Fill predicted that the firm could be marketing Capoten under "significantly" less restrictive labeling by the summer. The drug's rapid Rx growth indicates it apparently is already being widely prescribed for less severe hypertensive situations. PDS also noted that total Rxs dispensed in the U.S. continued to decline from last year. According to PDS projections, total retail Rxs dispensed in May were off .3% from May 1984. For the first five months of 1985, retail Rxs dispensed are down a full percentage point to 633.9 mil., PDS estimated.

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