SYNTEX TICLID SALES TRIPLE TO $45.3 MIL. IN FY 1993; TORADOL SALES JUMP 66% TO $322.4 MIL. DESPITE FOURTH QUARTER SETBACK OVERSEAS; MEDCO ADDS 11 NEW ACCOUNTS
Syntex Ticlid (ticlopidine) sales more than tripled to $45.3 mil. in fiscal 1993 (ended July 31), the company reported Aug. 26. Ticlid was launched in the U.S. in later 1991 for prevention of stroke. With labeling requiring weekly blood monitoring and encouraging use only in aspirin intolerant patients, initial sales penetration was slow. The drug also has been introduced by Syntex in Canada, Mexico and Australia. In June 1992, Syntex reported that it was refocusing its Ticlid detailing efforts on neurologists, using a specialty sales force to city Ticlid's "superior efficacy to aspirin" ("The Pink Sheet" June 15, 1992 T&G-1). That effort appears to be paying some dividends: Ticlid's fourth quarter sales alone ($14.7 mil.) exceeded sales for all of FY 1992 ($14.2 mil.). The net increase in Ticlid sales for the 12 months of fiscal 1993 of $31.1 mil. represents almost one-half of the net increase of Syntex' worldwide pharmaceutical sales for the year. Syntex worldwide drug sales were up 4% to $1.91 bil. from $1.85 bil. Domestic drug sales increased 3% from $1.24 bil. to $1.29 bil., the company reported. Syntex paid $43 mil. in Medicaid rebates in FY 1993, up from $31.5 mil. in FY 1992, the company noted. Non-U.S. sales grew at a slightly faster rate, rising 4% to $552.5 mil. for the year. Domestic drug sales jumped sharply in the fourth quarter, up 15% to $338.4 mil. International sales, however, dropped 7% to $136.1 mil. in the same period, and Syntex reported a net gain in drug sales of 7% to $474.5 mil. for the quarter. Sales of the non-narcotic analgesic Toradol (ketorolac) finished the year up 66% to $322.4 mil., Syntex reported. In the U.S., sales of oral Toradol more than tripled to $131 mil. Sales of the older injectable version were up 23% to $128.4 mil. Non-U.S. sales of both dosage forms increased 30% to $48.4 mil. for the year. In the fourth quarter, domestic sales gains for Toradol offset a decline in the international market. U.S. sales of the tablets were up 71% to $35.7 mil., while domestic sales of the injection climbed 36% to $31.5 mil. International sales dropped 11% to $14.2 mil. Syntex withdrew the product in Germany after regulatory authorities moved to suspend sales following adverse reaction reports in June. Other European countries have recommended relabeling the product and FDA and Syntex are working on changing the U.S. label ("The Pink Sheet" Aug. 23, T&G-1). The continued sales growth of Toradol for the year offset declining revenues from Syntex' flagship nonsteroidal anti- inflammatory drug naproxen (Anaprox/Naprosyn). Naproxen sales were down 9% to $680.8 mil. in the U.S. for the fiscal year. Worldwide sales were down 6% to $927.5 mil. Domestic sales of naproxen picked up in the fourth quarter, climbing 8% to $177.5 mil. International sales, however, declined 7% during the period, and total naproxen sales were up 4% to $235.9 mil. for the quarter. Sales of Syntex' oral contraceptives dropped 19% to $83.2 mil. Sales of Synarel (nafarelin) were 16% lower at $22.1 mil. The calcium channel blocker nicardipine (Cardene/Cardene SR) also saw a sales decline, down 15% to $77.9 mil. The cytomegalovirus treatment Cytovene (ganciclovir) posted a 26% sales increase to $85.5 mil. Syntex posted strong fourth quarter earnings growth of 44%. Net income for the period was $133.4 mil. Syntex attributed the growth to domestic sales of Toradol and naproxen and to "reduced expenses resulting from our cost-cutting initiatives." The company's restructuring moves, however, damped full-year earnings. A previously reported $320 mil. restructuring charge resulted in a 39% plunge in earnings to $287.2 mil. for the year. Operating income excluding the charge was virtually flat for the year at $518.3 mil. Medco Containment Services reported a 39% increase in sales to $2.62 bil. for the year ended June 30. Net income increased by 34% to $105.8 mil., the company said Aug. 26. Since the announcement of its proposed merger with Merck July 28, Medco "has been awarded 11 major new accounts covering pharmaceutical drug benefits for over 1 mil. people," the company said. "Additionally, existing Medco customers covering more than 1 mil. eligible lives have recently asked Medco to begin managing their retail drug spend on an integrated basis with the mail- service drug spend of their employees and retirees." Moreover, Medco declared, since the merger was announced "an overwhelming majority of existing customers of Medco have expressed their support for the merger." Medco said that, during calendar 1993, it has added a net of 4 mil.-5 mil. people to its total eligible lives covered to be installed by early 1994.
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