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CIBA-GEIGY VOLTAREN NEW Rxs ACHIEVE 9.4% SHARE

Executive Summary

CIBA-GEIGY VOLTAREN NEW Rxs ACHIEVE 9.4% SHARE of the U.S. retail non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug market for the week ended Oct. 18, up from 4.1% during the month of September, prescription audit firm Pharmaceutical Data Services reports in its most recent Alpha-Gram. "Voltaren (diclofenac) does not appear to be expanding the market, but is gaining share from competition," the Alpha-Gram states. "About 40% of Voltaren new patients have been on some other NSAID therapy within the past six months. This figure is significantly higher than the NSAID class average of 15%, and is to be expected for a new market entrant." Approved by FDA on July 28, Voltaren was launched at the beginning of September. However, the drug has been marketed outside the U.S. for almost 15 years. Sales volume was about $500 mil. in 1987, according to Ciba-Geigy, with total prescriptions in excess of 60 mil. Voltaren's market share increase in October came at the expense of generic ibuprofen, Merck's Clinoril, Pfizer's Feldene and Syntex' Naprosyn. According to PDS data, generic ibuprofen declined from 24.2% to 22.8%, Clinoril slid to 5.7%, from 6%, Feldene dropped from 9.8% to 8.8% and Naprosyn edged down to 18.4%, from 19%. Motrin, Upjohn's branded ibuprofen product, showed a fractional market share increase between the month of September and the seven days ended Oct. 18, climbing from 12% to 12.1%. In addition to the 40% switched patient figure reported for Voltaren, PDS data for September show 24% of new Feldene prescriptions written for patients switching from another NSAID product. Clinoril and Naprosyn are next, at 20% and 13%, respectively, followed by generic ibuprofen at 6%.
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