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SCHERING LABS PRESIDENT BRYCE HAS INTERNATIONAL BACKGROUND

Executive Summary

SCHERING LABS PRESIDENT BRYCE HAS INTERNATIONAL BACKGROUND from his 10-year affiliation with Schering-Plough. Rodolfo Bryce is moving up to head the U.S. prescription drug business from the position of senior VP-Rx marketing and sales. Bryce's international background at Schering is not unusual for the U.S. position. It mirrors the route to the top taken by his predecessor Jean-Pierre Garnier, who has recently left Schering for a similar post at SmithKline Beechman (see preceeding T&G). On a more general level, Bryce's appointment typifies a trend at many of the U.S. drug companies where execs with more diversified and international backgrounds are being chosen to head the U.S. operating positions. Those changes could lead to a review of traditional attitudes toward pricing and other marketing techniques. Prior to assuming the marketing and sales post at the beginning of this year, Bryce headed Schering's animal health business for two years. The rest of his career at Schering has been in the international business: heading the company's Portugese subsidiary and regional director of the Latin American operations. Bryce, a graduate of St. Mary's University in San Antonio, also held international positions with ITT before joining Schering. As senior VP-Rx marketing and sales, Bryce was apparently being groomed at Schering for a top spot at Schering Labs. Bryce's predecessor Garnier held the same marketing and sales position before assuming the presidency in 1988. David Stout is taking on some of Bryce's marketing functions as new VP-Rx marketing. Also reporting to Bryce are Robert Baldini, senior VP-Key marketing and sales, Eugene Desimone, senior VP-planning and administration, Richard Happel, VP-human resources, John Nine, president-Schering technical operations, Izabela Roman, VP-medical marketing, and Harvey Weintraub, VP-Rx sales. The Schering transition may have occurred a bit ahead of schedule. However, it will be made easier by the stable upper pharmaceutical management at the company. Bryce will report to Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals President Donald Conklin. Schering-Plough President Richard Kogan and Chairman Robert Luciano are also long-time veterans of the U.S. drug business. The Schering U.S. business faces imminent generic competition for one of its main lines: the albuterol (Proventil) asthma products. The albuterol line generated "well in excess of $200 mil." in sales in 1989 on growth of 56%. Generic versions of the standard-release tablets began in December 1989. Schering has traded some of the tablet market up to the controlled-release version Repetabs, which does not have generic or multi-source competition from Glaxo. The aerosol inhaler has been protected by a debate over FDA's bioequivalence requirements for non-systemic ANDAs. In June, FDA decided the bioequivalence requirements in favor of generic applicants. At least one generic company, Barre-National, says it has a pending application for the inhaler. In its most recent interim earnings report, Barre's parent A.L. Labs reported that it had filed an ANDA in April. The company said it is "seeking clarification from FDA as to whether any more data is needed for our submitted ANDA." While maintaining strong results from an aging line of products, Schering has not had good luck with its ability to get new chemical entities through FDA and onto the market. Some of its research projects have come out too late (such as quazepam, outlicensed to Baker-Cummins) or have run into eleventh-hour difficulties (such as dilevalol, withdrawn from world markets earlier this summer). The major pending project continues to be Claritin, Schering's nonsedating antihistamine. The firm has been building its anticancer business, particularly Eulexin, and its persistence with interferon is paying off as that product gains momentum and indications ("The Pink Sheet" Aug. 6, p. 11).
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