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WARNER-LAMBERT WORLDWIDE Rx SALES INCREASE 7% IN 1985 TO $880 MIL.; CONSUMER PRODUCTS TO BENEFIT FROM TRANSFER OF 16 OTCs, FIRM PREDICTS

Executive Summary

Warner-Lambert's worldwide Rx drug sales in 1985 increased 7% to $880 mil., the company said in its preliminary fourth quarter and annual financial report. The company said that "at constant exchange rates" worldwide pharmaceutical sales would have increased 11%. Domestic Rx sales by Parke-Davis increased 9% over 1984, Warner-Lambert reported. The company attributed the gains in pharmaceutical sales to the lipid-regulator Lopid and the anti-arthritic Meclomen. Sales of Lopid rose "approximately 65% in the U.S. over last year, making it the number one drug in its category in the U.S.," while sales of Meclomen "increased 18% in the U.S.; where it was approved for first-line therapy by the FDA," the firm said. In December, Warner-Lambert predicted that worldwide sales of Lopid and Meclomen would approach $50 mil. and $40 mil., respectively, in 1986. Warner-Lambert reported that sales from continuing operations rose 5% to $2.8 bil. in 1985. Warner-Lambert Chairman and Chief Exec Joseph Williams predicted that 1986 sales "are expected to reach $3.1 bil." "Ethical pharmaceutical sales also benefitted from strong gains by ERYC erythromycin; Dilantin, the leading drug for the treatment of epilepsy and Parke-Davis' largest product; the U.S. introduction of a generic verison of the tranquilizer diazepam, and increased sales of the antihypertensive Dilzem in internatl. markets," W-L stated. The firm noted that worldwide sales of non-Rx products increased 11% in 1985. Warner-Lambert said continued growth in 1986 would be "further benefitted by the transfer of 16 non-Rx products sold by the Parke-Davis sales force to the company's Consumer Health Products Group, which will provide entry to retail food and supermarket chains." The transfer was effective at the beginning of 1986. Benadryl, Lubriderm, Rolaids, Efferdent, Halls, and Listerine, which W-L said "continued to gain from its plaque-fighting claim," were cited as "contributing to the gain in domestic non-Rx sales." The new calcium supplements Suplical and Theracal also contributed to sales growth, W-L said. Noting that three new generic products were approved in the U.S. in 1985 -- including diazepam, and pellet dosage forms of ERYC and doxicillin -- and 40 products were introduced internationally, Williams called 1985 "a year of progress." The Warner-Lambert exec also pointed out that the company filed four supplemental NDAs in 1985, giving the firm a total of seven filings pending at FDA. Merck reported a flat sales performance for both the fourth quarter and full year. Sales for 1985 were off .3% to just under $3.55 bil., while fourth quarter sales slipped .4% to $958 mil. "Sales were affected by the previously announced divestment in the second quarter of two subsidiaries, Calgon Carbon Corp. and Baltimore Aircoil, and by the strength of the U.S. dollar," Merck President and CEO Roy Vagelos, MD, explained. However, Merck showed a 16.2% jump in fourth quarter net earnings to $134.4 mil., which contributed to a 9.5% gain in net income for the full year to $539.9 mil. "An improved product mix, the continuation of aggressive cost controls and productivity improvements contributed to income gains," Vagelos said. "If the effect of these divestments and exchange were excluded, sales would show an increase of 7% for the year," Vagelos said. "For the full year, the negative effect of exchange on sales was 2%." Merck said that unit volume increases in 1985 stemmed from the inclusion of its Japanese subsidiary, Banyu Pharmaceutical, in consolidated results since the fourth quarter of 1984 and from newer products. Merck cited the performances of its injectable antibiotic Mefoxin, with 1985 sales estimated at $225 mil.; the oral antibacterial Noroxin, not yet introduced in the U.S.; the antiglaucoma agent Timoptic; cardiovascular products Tonocard and, recently introduced Vasotec; the hepatitis B vaccine Heptavax-B; and the animal antiparasitic ivermectin. "As a group, other longer-established human health products, including Aldomet and Indocin, declined due to competition," Merck said. Both Aldomet and Indocin are now facing wide-scale generic competition. Also reporting fourth quarter and 1985 financial results, Schering-Plough posted an 8.7% increase in net income for the year to $192.6 mil. on a 2.8% sales gain to $1.93 bil. Fourth quarter sales and earnings grew at a faster rate, however, with net income up 14.9% to $43.3 mil. during the three month period on sales of $488.4 mil., up 9%. Sales from Schering's U.S. pharmaceutical business increased 9% in 1985, while sales of the internatl. pharmaceutical business grew 19% in local currencies, the firm reported. Schering cited Normodyne, Lotrisone and Proventil as contributing to the gain in U.S. pharmaceutical sales. "Also contributing to the U.S. sales increase was a new all-natural diet and weight control product, Fibre Trim," Schering said. Robins President and CEO Claiborne Robins, Jr., credited the introduction of new OTC Dimetapp formulas and the "continued growth of Reglan for being the "leading contributors" to Robins' 11.7% sales gain in 1985 to $706.1 mil. Reglan has been subject to generic competition since late summer. The company reported net income of $75.8 mil. in 1985 after a $461.6 mil. net loss in 1984 resulting from the establishment of a $615 mil. Dalkon Shield reserve during the fourth quarter of 1984. The $75.8 mil. net earnings figure includes an extraordinary gain of $14.4 mil., representing deferred tax benefits from the Dalkon Shield reserve and "future compensatory claims and litigation expenses related to the Dalkon Shield." Dalkon Shield-related expenses reduced 1985 pretax earnings by $15.6 mil., the company said. "Costs related to the Robins' Chapter 11 case reduced pretax earnings for the fourth quarter and year by an additional $7.2 mil., which includes "professional fees and expenses, and costs associated with the company's notification program citing April 30, 1986 as the deadline for filing claims related to the use of the Dalkon Shield," Robins noted. Fourth quarter sales grew 11.9% to $186.1 mil. with net earnings of $13.5 mil. Operating earnings for the period, Robins noted, were up 20% to $41.1 mil. "Dimetapp, Bio-Cox, Micro-K and the Robitussin family of cough syrups were the pacesetters," Robins said. Robins noted that from Jan. 1, 1985 through Aug. 21, 1985, when proceeds in pending Dalkon Shield cases and claims were stopped as a result of the firm's Chapter 11 filing, $66.8 mil. was charged against the Dalkon Shield reserve. Chart omitted.

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