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UPJOHN ADDING HOECHST’s SURFAK, DOXIDAN OTC LAXATIVES

Executive Summary

UPJOHN ADDING HOECHST's SURFAK, DOXIDAN OTC LAXATIVES to its OTC product line under a 10-year U.S. marketing agreement with Hoechst-Roussel Pharmaceuticals announced Dec. 12. The agreement gives Upjohn the option to purchase the Surfak and Doxidan brands, which will complement the company's Kaopectate antidiarrheal products franchise. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The products "are viewed as having significant growth potential" in the consumer and ethical OTC markets, although they were both introduced by Hoechst in 1959, Upjohn said. The company did not release sales figures. Consumer Products VP and General Manager Thomas Laughlin noted: "We intend to aggressively promote Surfak and Doxidan to both consumers and professionals." Doxidan capsules, which combine the stool softener docusate calcium and the intestinal stimulant phenolphthalein, were described by Upjohn as "one of the leading products in the category." No-sodium Surfak capsules also contain docusate calcium and are a "leader in its market category," Upjohn said, maintaining that the product offers once-a-day dosing and "superior value" to other category brands. Upjohn said the agreement reflects the company's intent to build its Consumer Products Division. The strategy is to build the OTC franchise in areas that complement its Kaopectate antidiarrheal, Motrin IB analgesic and Cortaid antipruritic categories and to prepare for future Rx-to-OTC switches. The agreement with Hoechst marks the second OTC product shuffling in four months. At the end of September, Upjohn agreed to divest 13 minor OTC brands, including Cheracol and Haltran, to Roberts Pharmaceutical ("The Pink Sheet" Oct. 1, T&G-12).

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