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Executive Summary

RIKER's MINITRAN NITROGLYCERIN PATCH: NEWSPAPER CONSUMER ADS are currently running in seven major cities focusing on the cosmetic aspects of the company's first transdermal patch product. The ads for the angina treatment are headlined: "Everything you asked for in a patch," and highlight the boost to self-esteem from wearing a cosmetically acceptable patch that is barely noticeable. The New York ad firm Girgenti, Hughes, Butler and McDowell designed the campaign. The company is promoting the once-a-day Minitran patch as being smaller, thinner, more flexible, transparent, more adhesive and less expensive than competitors' Transderm-Nitro (Ciba-Geigy) and Nitro-Dur (Schering's Key Pharmaceuticals). The consumer ads have three pictures of patients saying what they want from a transdermal patch: "I want one that's less noticeable"; "Give me a patch that doesn't fall off"; and "I want one that costs less." According to the ad copy, 3M Riker developed the Minitran patch because "patients complained so often about nitroglycerin patches that we decided to make our own." The ad offers consumers a free demonstration patch (without medication) by calling 1-800-63PATCH. The product, approved via an ANDA on Oct. 19 under the tradename Nitran ("The Pink Sheet" Oct. 31, T&G-13), is about 50% smaller than the Ciba or Key patches, 3M Riker claims. The patch combines 3M's Tegaderm transparent dressing adhesive and the company's Blenderm surgical tape backing to make it thinner and more flexible. The acrylate-based polymer hypoallergenic adhesive combination provides "superior adhesion" to other transdermal patches for a 24-hour duration, 3M says. The adhesive permits the nitroglycerin to be stored directly in the adhesive, so the product is virtually transparent. Ciba's product has a reservoir for the nitroglycerin and Nitro-Dur is larger in diameter and opaque. On average, Minitran's price is "about 20% less" than competitive brands, a 3M spokesperson said. The average wholesale price for a box of 33 5 mg/24 hour Minitran patches is $ 29.30, based on the 1988 Drug Topics Red Book, which is in line with the listed AWP for Bolar's generic patch. Minitran is available in 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg and 15 mg doses and comes 33 per pack. Professional journal ads broke in late February with the launch of Minitran and take only a slightly different approach than the consumer ads. Tagged "Meet the small wonder," the professional ads claim that Minitran is "the smallest, least noticeable patch." The 3M Riker product was preferred by patients "more than two-to-one" over Transderm-Nitro and Nitro-Dur in a multi-center cross-over trial of 126 patients, ad copy states. 3M Riker promotional materials introducing Minitran say the study groups preferred their product over other brands for "appearance, size, shape, comfort, adhesion, confidence in drug delivery and least skin irritation."

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