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Executive Summary

GENERIC IBUPROFEN U.S. RETAIL UNIT SHARE NEARLY DOUBLES TO 44% of total prescriptions during the 12 months ended Sept. 30, according to Pharmaceutical Data Services' (PDS) most recent Alpha-Gram. PDS reported that generic ibuprofen accounted for 10.4 mil. of the 23.5 mil. total U.S. retail prescriptions dispensed during the 12-month period. In the previous year, generic ibuprofen held 23% of the market with 5.3 mil. of the 22.8 mil. prescriptions dispensed. The generic market share gain affected brandname ibuprofen products Motrin and Rufen equally, with both products losing roughly 10 percentage joints of their unit share -- Upjohn's Motrin dropped from 57% of total prescriptions to 46.3%, while Boots' Rufen went from 20% to 9.4%. The Alpha-Gram notes that while Motrin and Rufen experienced similar market losses in the 12 months ended Sept. 30, Upjohn was initially more successful in retaining Motrin's unit share of the ibuprofen market after the first generic approvals in July 1985. "In the period ending September 1986, Rufen was the victim of generic inroads and Motrin was essentially unscathed, due in part to their success for Motrin 800 mg line extension," PDS commented. "It appears that in the first 12 months of generic activity many patients shopping for price moved from Rufen to the even lower-priced generics. In the most recent 12 months patients have moved from Motrin, as well as Rufen, to the lower priced products," PDS added. In the year ended September 1985, when generic ibuprofen accounted for less than 1% of total U.S. retail ibuprofen prescriptions, Motrin held 64.8% of the market and Rufen held 34.7%, PDS' data shows. In the following 12 months, Motrin lost eight percentage points of market share, closing the year with 57%, or 13 mil., of the 22.8 mil. ibuprofen prescriptions, while Rufen lost 15 percentage points, dropping to 20% of the market. In terms of new prescriptions, Rufen was also more significantly affected in the initial period following generic ibuprofen introductions; however, Motrin realized a bigger percentage-point loss in the most recent year. In the 12 months ended September 1985, Motrin accounted for 63.6% of new ibuprofen prescriptions dispensed, while Rufen accounted for 35.7%. Motrin lost seven percentage points in the 12 months ended September 1986 and 13 percentage points in the most recent 12 months, dropping to 56.4% and 43.5% of the new prescriptions dispensed, respectively. Rufen new prescription levels dropped 19 percentage points (to 17.2%) in the first 12 month period and nine percentage points in the period ending September 1987. Overall U.S. retail dispensing trends for ibuprofen show slight growth in the prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflamatory. PDS reports that 23.5 mil. ibuprofen prescriptions dispensed in the most recent 12 months, a 2.7% increase over the 22.8 mil. prescriptions the previous 12 months.

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