BAYER ASPIRIN U.S. SALES INCREASE 16% IN 1987, STERLING CITES PROMOTION OF SECOND HEART ATTACK PREVENTION CLAIM; U.S. MAALOX VOLUME UP 17% IN 1987
U.S. sales of Bayer aspirin increased 16% during 1987, twice the rate of growth of Sterling's OTC business overall (up 8% to $355 mil.), the company reported. "'The Wonder Drug That Works' scored an impressive increase in market share in the fiercely competitive OTC analgesics market in 1987, as a result of an effective consumer education program for aspirin's use in the prevention of second heart attacks and in the treatment of unstable angina," the company said. The Bayer brand is poised for additional growth in 1988, following the publication of a 22,000-person study in a recent issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, which showed aspirin's effect in preventing heart attacks when one tablet is taken by healthy males every other day. Bayer 28-tablet "Calendar Paks" in support of aspirin's claim to prevent second heart attacks will be reaching pharmacy shelves shortly, following shipment the last week of January. In terms of percentage increases, U.S. prescription pharmaceutical sales led all Sterling business segments, rising 21% to $369 mil. Domestic drug sales were "sparked by the outstanding success of Omnipaque . . . which in its second year of marketing has become Sterling's largest prescription product," the company said. "Sales of Omnipaque in 1987 were more than double that of its introductory year." Sterling International, which encompasses all of the company's product sales outside the U.S., was next, rising 18% to $920 mil., followed by domestic sales of household and other products, up 15% to $683 mil. Non-U.S. sales were helped by recent European acquisitions as well as a falling U.S. dollar, Sterling noted. Overall corporate volume was up 16% for the 12 months to $2.3 mil. Net earnings rose 15% to $197 mil. For the fourth quarter of 1987, Sterling reported a 26% jump in U.S. pharmaceutical sales to $114 mil., from $91 mil. in the comparable 1986 period. Corporate volume was up 13% to $592 mil. during the three months, and net income rose 15% to $52 mil. Fourth-quarter sales of proprietary products in the U.S. were relatively flat, edging up 2% to $85 mil., while international sales increased 18% to $258 mil. Rorer reported that U.S. sales of Maalox were up 17% for 1987, pushing the company's worldwide antacid business above $200 mil. for the first time. Twelve-month corporate sales increased 10% to $929 mil., while earnings from continuing operations were $54 mil., compared to $3 mil. a year ago. Net income fell over 50%, from $126 mil. in 1986 to $54 mil., attributable to a $122 mil. gain from the sale of Rorer's medical products business in 1986. U.S. Sales of Rorer's four leading prescription products -- that antiasthmatics Slo-Bid and Azmacort, the antihypertensive Lozol, and the calcium regulator Calcimar -- increased an average 41%, the firm said. Overseas sales were paced by the diuretic Frumil in the U.K. and the recently launched beta blocker Selectol in West Germany. "We saw full realization of the gains we envisioned when we acquired the Revolon businesses two years ago," Chairman Robert Cawthorn remarked. "Strong results were achieved in spite of a $17 mil. decrease in sales and gross profit of Albuminar, the largest product of the Armour subsidiary, due to severe pressure on prices." The exec noted that productivity, as measured by sales per employee, increased 21% in 1987, and that earnings grew despite increased investment in product research and promotion. During the year, Rorer said it filed two NDAs and seven INDs. For the fourth quarter, Rorer's sales increased 4% to $281 mil. "Without the thirteenth month of international sales in 1986, fourth quarter sales would have increased by 11.1% in 1987," the firm explained. After booking a $6 mil. loss in the fourth quarter of 1986, the company reported net earnings of $22 mil. for the recent three-month period. Also announcing 1987 results, American Cyanamid reported that sales by its Medical Group increased 14% during the 12 months to $1.6 bil. Based on 1986 breakdowns, Lederle accounted for about 85%, of this volume, or $1.4 bil., with the remainder coming from medical devices. The group's operating earnings jumped 18% to $216 mil., and made up over 50% of Cyanamid's total operating earnings of $381 mil. for the year. Corporate sales rose 9.2% in 1987 to $4.2 mil., Cyanamid reported, while net income was 36% higher than in 1986, at $276 mil. For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, American Cyanamid's sales were up 8% to $950 mil. Three-month net earnings were $60 mil., an increase of 16% over the comparable 1986 period. Chart omitted.
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