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Executive Summary

PHARMACIA's 1984 GASTROENTEROLOGY/RHEUMATOLOGY DIV. SALES WERE $42.2 MIL. (based on the year-end exchange rate for Swedish Krona), the Swedish biomedical research and manufacturing concern announced in its recently released 1984 annual report. The figure represents a 13% increase over 1983 in terms of Swedish Krona. However, in U.S. dollars the sales gain was a modest 1% due to the increasing strength of the dollar abroad. Exports accounted for over 90% of the division's volume, which made up 19% of the health care segment's sales and 13% of total corporate volume. According to the report, the division develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products for inflammatory intestin disease, which includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, and for rheumatoid arthritis. Its chief product in both areas is Azulfidine, which was launched in 1941. "Through Azulfidine, Pharmacia dominates in the area of maintenance therapy for ulcerative colitis, with an 80% share of the world market in competition with mainly small, local companies," the report states. Pharmacia said that the world market for intestinal therapeutic products is growing at about 20% annually. For rheumatoid arthritis, which the report says afflicts roughly 3% of the world population, Pharmacia is launching Azulfidine EN-tabs "in a market segment less exposed to competition." The company claims that the product, which was approved in the U.K. and West Germany last year, arrests the course of the disease and has an established low side-effect profile. In terms of R&D, the division has been developing Dipentum, a product similar to Azulfidine, for use in maintenance therapy for ulcerative colitis. The report notes that Pharmcia expects to launch the product this year. "In light of current pharmacological knowledge, Dipentum offers the most effective solution for the purpose," the company stated, "and the drug's other advantages, such as a more favorable sideeffect profile, indicate that it will be highly suitable for long-term therapy."

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