VASOTEC U.S. RETAIL SALES ANNUALIZING AT $62 MIL
VASOTEC U.S. RETAIL SALES ANNUALIZING AT $62 MIL. (at pharmacy acquisition cost), according to Pharmaceutical Data Services' (PDS) most recent Alpha-Gram. PDS noted that the Merck ACE inhibitor generated sales of $5.2 mil. in September, compared with $4.4 mil. in August and $3.8 mil. in July. "Vasotec (enalapril) . . . has shown steady growth since its launch in January," the Alpha-Gram states. "Although Vasotec has done well, Squibb's competitive ACE inhibitor, Capoten (captopril), also continues to show growth, extending Capoten's upward five-year trend." Sales of Capoten are annualizing at approximately $183 mil., according to PDS data. Capoten generated sales of $15.3 mil. in September, $14.4 mil. in August and $13.6 mil. in July. "With continued growth of both products, the market has seen a significant expansion at the expense of some beta blockers and traditional antihypertensive products," PDS commented. "These market dynamics may be, in part, the result of Merck's positioning Vasotec against the older antihypertensive products rather than against Capoten specifically." In terms of total Rxs dispensed in September, Capoten holds 71% of the ACE inhibitor market with 696,000 Rxs, while Vasotec holds the remaining 29% with 282,000 Rxs. At a drug company seminar for the investment community sponsored by Morgan, Olmstead on Oct. 28, PDS VP-Sales/Marketing Michael Smith, PhD, noted that Merck's introduction of Vasotec has been the most successful new drug launch in 1986. "The winner so far this year is Merck's Vasotec, which in nine months [is] showing about $22 mil. in sales," Smith observed. "We would expect this drug to finish up doing about $35 mil. in its first full year on the market, "Smith predicted. "This is a major achievement because you are talking about new therapy being introduced in a chronic disease marketplace, which is not prone to switching." Smith said that Merck's ACE inhibitor "is doing 27% of the total market in terms of new Rxs, and 15% of the dollars." He estimated that Vasotec has taken new Rxs from Capoten that would have totaled about 37% of that drug's current monthly level of new Rxs. Among the other new product launches so far in 1986, sales of Key/Schering's second generation Nitro-Dur reached $15.7 mil. in its first nine months, while Wyeth's Orudis (ketoprofen) sales through its first nine months on the market were approximately $8.7 mil. Miles' (Adalat) nifedipine competitor to Pfizer's Procardia in the calcium channel blocker class, generated sales of $1.7 mil. in its first nine months on the market, according to PDS projections. McNeil's Suprol, which recently had a label change to second-line treatment, had sales of over $5.8 mil. in its first nine months of marketing.
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