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FISONS RELAUNCHING PENNWALT's METOLAZONE UNDER MYKROX

Executive Summary

FISONS RELAUNCHING PENNWALT's METOLAZONE UNDER MYKROX brand, the British firm announced Dec. 8. The name change for the low-dose diuretic, formerly known as Microx, coincides with the final integration of the Pennwalt drug business with Fisons' U.S. operation. Fisons purchased Pennwalt's pharmaceutical unit in August for $460 mil., and is in the last stages of merging the two sales forces and moving from Bedford, Massachusetts to Pennwalt's Rochester, New York facilities. Explaining the name change, which becomes effective Jan. 1, Fisons said it hopes to better differentiate the Microx brand from Robins' branded potassium supplement product, Micro-K. The company believed the two brands created visual confusion. Microx (metolazone) was approved in October 1987 and subsequently launched by Pennwalt in early 1988. Fisons plans to detail Mykrox with its entire sales force, which with the addition of the Pennwalt reps now stands at 310 reps and 40 sales managers. The relaunch, scheduled for Jan. 1, will be complemented by a special seeding program, "The Mykrox Challenge." Under the program, physicians will be contacted through telemarketing and direct mail. Sales reps will then make follow-up visits and distribute kits to doctors for patient distribution, the company explained. Each kit will contain product samples along with a voucher good for $10 off on laboratory work. In addition to The Mykrox Challenge, Fisons is establishing a cooperative program with the National Alliance of Senior Citizens involving an evaluation of Mykrox in elderly patients.
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