LOPID U.S. VOLUME UP 85% IN FIRST QUARTER AS WARNER-LAMBERT REPORTS 14% INCREASE IN ETHICAL DRUG SALES WORLDWIDE; DIVESTITURE OF THREE UNITS DROPS OVERALL SALES
Warner-Lambert U.S. sales of its lipid-regulating drug Lopid increased 85% in the first quarter of 1986, the firm said in reporting first quarter results. "New Rxs for Lopid reached an all-time high, reflecting the medical profession's growing awareness of the role of blood lipids in the development of atherosclerosis," the company stated in an April 29 release. The product is now marketed in 27 countries. Lopid was just one of Warner-Lambert's bright spots for the three months ended March 31. Sales of ERYC erythromycin were up 25% in the U.S., "aided by a high incidence of respiratory infection," the company said. In addition, U.S. volume of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug Meclomen was up 35%. "The U.S. pharmaceutical business also benefited from higher sales of the epilepsy drug Dilantin, as well as the introduction in the first quarter of Doryx, a patented form of the antibiotic doxycycline," Warner-Lambert added. "Sales of multisource products also contributed to the gain." Worldwide sales of ethical pharmaceuticals increased 14% over the first quarter of 1985, according to the release. Overall, Warner-Lambert reported a 6% decline in sales volume to $747 mil. during the 13-week period. Excluding the three businesses now being divested -- Deseret, Reichert and IMED -- sales would have increased 9%, the company said. Net income rose almost 9% to $65.1 mil. Chairman Joseph Williams attributed the earnings gain to higher sales of all continuing businesses and lower administrative costs. On the OTC side, Warner-Lambert reported a 4% increase in worldwide sales. "U.S. sales were buoyed by several new products and major line extensions," the firm said. "Benadryl anti-histamine, introduced last year as an OTC allergy medication, has attained market leadership, stimulated by the introduction of two additional product formulations." chart omitted.
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