A. H. ROBINS' DIMETAPP PACES CONSUMER PRODUCTS GROWTH, CLIMBS 45.1% IN 1991 TO $132 MIL.; WHITEHALL LABS' PREPARATION H SALES ARE UP 15.5% TO $82 MIL.
American Home Products' A. H. Robins division generated $132 mil. in Dimetapp revenues in 1991, up 45.1% from the year earlier, according to the AHP "1992 Fact Book" (see box for breakdown of American Home Products' consumer health care sales by product). Dimetapp is the "brand most widely recommended by physicians in the United States for treatment of uncomplicated colds," AHP said in its 1991 annual report. During the year, the firm renamed the multisymptom flu product Dimetapp Plus as Dimetapp Cold and Flu. Robins also added a new larger size of Dimetapp-DM for colds accompanied by coughs. The Dimetapp family of products was the fastest-growing product line at Robins for the year, trailed closely by Robitussin, which was ahead 43.8% to $174 mil. Robins made a number of Robitussin expansions in 1991: the company introduced a "maximum strength cough" formula, a pediatric cough and cold formula, and Robitussin cough drops "in three flavors in bag and stick forms." The cough drop product "rapidly received consumer acceptance," the AHP annual report notes. Overall, Robins consumer health sales totaled $443 mil., up 29.5% from the year earlier. The Robins franchise accounted for just under a third of AHP's total consumer health sales, with Whitehall Labs generating revenues of $1.1 bil., up 3.7%. "Significantly higher" sales for Whitehall's Advil OTC ibuprofen helped drive a 12.7% gain in the analgesics sector to $504 mil., Whitehall's largest product group. The "second-largest selling U.S. analgesic," Advil benefited from "new advertising, increased media support, and heavier physician detailing and sampling efforts," according to the annual report. The gain in analgesic sales actually represents a rebound to 1989 levels when analgesics brought in $511 mil. That figure plunged $64 mil. (off 12.5%) in 1990. Sales of Preparation H gained 15.5% for the year to $82 mil., making it the third largest consumer product sold by Whitehall behind analgesics and toothpaste. FDA recently informed Whitehall that its data for Preparation H are inadequate to support claims for relief of hemorrhoidal symptoms, and that there is no data backing claimed effectiveness for shrinking of hemorrhoidal tissue ("The Pink Sheet" March 30, T&G-1). At $82 mil., Preparation H accounted for 7.3% of Whitehall's 1991 sales, and 5.3% of total consumer health care revenues for the year. The whole health care business (prescription drugs, consumer health products and medical supplies) produced operating profits of $1.56 bil. on sales $6.22 bil. (a 25% operating profit ratio).
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