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ORTHO's RETIN-A 1988 PHARMACY SALES JUMP 127% TO $ 63.8 MIL

Executive Summary

ORTHO's RETIN-A 1988 PHARMACY SALES JUMP 127% TO $ 63.8 MIL. during a year in which the prescription acne medication tretinoin received widespread publicity as a potential anti-wrinkle treatment. The estimated increase -- from $ 28.1 mil. in 1987 to $ 63.8 mil. in 1988 -- is based on actually dispensed prescriptions as calculated by the audit service firm Pharmaceutical Data Systems. The PDS figures are generally lower than manufacturer figures for drug sales because they do not include inventory or sales to hospitals and institutions. The Retin-A sales gain was also aided by Ortho's fall introduction of a lower dose, less irritating .025% cream, which was approved by FDA in late September ("The Pink Sheet" Oct. 24, T&G-5). At an Oct. 18 press conference to introduce the lower concentration, dermatologists suggested that the cream could be used as a starting dose for patients in photoaging therapy or as a maintenance product once the desired effect has been achieved. Retin-A has not yet been approved by FDA as an anti-wrinkle treatment, but Ortho expects to submit the results of a multi-center trial by 1990.

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