MARION CARDIZEM SR INITIAL SELL-IN GENERATES $ 19 MIL. SALES
MARION CARDIZEM SR INITIAL SELL-IN GENERATES $ 19 MIL. SALES following the launch of the b.i.d-sustained release form of the calcium channel blocker in March, Marion Senior Exec VP James McGraw told an Alex. Brown healthcare seminar in Baltimore May 10. Cardizem SR (manufactured for Marion by the Elan Corporation and licensed from Tanabe) was approved by FDA on Jan. 24 for the treatment of hypertension. Marion plans to file for a once-a-day formulation of Cardizem SR "in the near future," McGraw said. Once approved, the new formulation will give Cardizem an additional three years of exclusivity beyond its November 1992 patent expiration date, McGraw noted. The immediate release form of Cardizem (diltiazem), which is indicated for angina, generated fiscal 1988 (ended June 30) sales of $ 442 mil. Through nine months of fiscal 1989, sales have reached $ 410 mil. and the drug is being prescribed at the rate of 1 mil. new prescriptions per month, McGraw said. Sales of the antiulcer drug Carafate (sucralfate) reached $ 140 mil. after nine months. Marion is predicting that full year sales will top $ 200 mil. FDA is currently reviewing a suspension form of the drug, which Marion expects will be approved in fiscal 1990 or fiscal 1991. By that time, an OTC form of Carafate also may be ready, McGraw indicated. He also predicted that FY 1992 would see the FDA approval of Pentasa for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Pentasa (5-amino-salicylic acid) is licensed by Marion from the Danish firm Ferring. Marion sales are expected to reach more than $ 900 mil. in fiscal 1989, a 25-30% increase over the previous year, the Marion exec reported. Sales of two OTCs, Os-cal and Gaviscon, combined have already topped the $ 100 mil. sales level so far this year.
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