GEIGY's VOLTAREN (DICLOFENAC) CAPTURED 3% OF TOTAL 1988 U.S. NSAID DOLLARS WITH ONLY 4 MONTHS OF SALES; PRODUCT REACHES $13 MIL. PER MONTH IN FEBRUARY
Ciba-Geigy is carving out a substantial, perhaps $150 mil. per year, position in the crowded U.S. nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory market with its recently-introduced Voltaren (diclofenac). In only four months on the market in 1988, the Geigy product was able to capture about 3% of the pharmacy NSAID sales for the year, according to the most recent market data from Pharmaceutical Data Services. From its late August starting point, Ciba was able to generate almost $41 mil. in sales by the end of the year, PDS reported at a March 10 wrap-up session for New York financial analysts on last year's prescription sales trends. PDS VP Michael Ira Smith noted that the new launch by the combined Ciba-Geigy detail forces is making "substantial inroads" in the crowded NSAID field. In the most recent monthly figures, Smith reported, the product has climbed to the $13 mil. per month level. Lilly's Prozac (fluoxetine) and Glaxo's Ceftin (cefuroxime axetil) also had major 1988 launches in the retail drug market. Prozac captured 6% of the 38.3 mil. total Rxs in the antidepressant category. The drug's dollar share was considerably larger: 16% of the market dollar volume. By December, Prozac had reached a level of about 350,000 total Rxs per month of which 150,000 were new Rxs. The most recent figures, PDS says, indicate about $14 mil. in one-month sales. ]EDITORS' NOTE: PDS bases its estimates on actual sales to patients. Because of its focus on sell-through instead of sales to the trade, PDS figures are often lower than the product figures that companies report.[ Glaxo's Ceftin did $35 mil. in retail sales over ten months, PDS reported. Comarketed by the Glaxo marketing subsidiary Allen & Hanbury's and Roche, Ceftin took over 6% of a $615 mil. oral cephalosporin market. That market increased overall by 9%, PDS figures show, with a large gain by the generic versions of Lilly's keflex. by the generic versiosn of Lilly's Keflex. PDS figures showed Lilly losing $102 mil. in sales from 1987 Keflex totals as a result of the loss of patent protection. Ceclor, up 18% ($40 mil.) in dollar sales to $260 mil. and the new formulation Keftab (with $27 mil. in sales) helped make up some of the shortfall from Keflex performance in the U.S. Lilly's dominant share of the U.S. oral cephalosporin market dropped from 72% in 1987 to 59% in 1988. To put the Voltaren launch in perspective, PDS compared the first 12 weeks of the launch to the same period of Pfizer's Feldene launch in 1982. At the twelve-week mark, Voltaren was slightly ahead of the Feldene 1982 level of 120,000 total Rxs. New Rxs were about 75,000 for both products at the same period. Smith pointed out that Ciba-Geigy has made good use of Voltaren's reputation as the most widely-used NSAID outside the U.S. and the celebrity endorsement by Mickey Mantle. The Voltaren Rx graph for the twelve-week introduction shows a fairly straight increase with its sharpest climb between weeks three and eight, the period that apparently coincides with the Mickey Mantle publicity swing. Anaprox, the eight-year old Syntex spinoff salt of naproxen, also had a big year in 1988. PDS said that Anaprox sales increased 44% to $58 mil. on a 25% increase in total Rxs to 3.7 mil. The market leading Syntex NSAID brand, Naprosyn, gained 11% in sales in 1988, reaching $322 mil. by PDS estimates. That gain continued to run ahead of the total NSAID market, which gained 7% in dollars and 3% in total Rxs in 1988.
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