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This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

McNEIL'S IMODIUM A-D HAS TWO-THIRDS OF OTC ANTIDIARRHEAL MARKET and annual retail sales approaching $ 100 mil., according to market share data from Information Resources, Inc. subsidiary Towne-Oller & Associates. For the twelve months through February 1993, the leading loperamide OTC brand captured 66.7% of the food and drug store retail market (see chart below). OTC ANTIDIARRHEAL MARKET The following data reflect retail dollar volume of antidiarrheal products in national food and drug stores during the 12 months through February 1993. Source: Towne-Oller & Associates, a subsidiary of Information Resources, Inc. After four years of OTC availability, the loperamide brand is still driving the antidiarrheal market: Imodium A-D sales increased 18% in the 12-month period to February 1993 to $ 98.6 mil., according to Towne-Oller. The antidiarrheal market also grew 18% during the same period to $ 147.7 mil. Upjohn's attapulgite-based antidiarrheal Kaopectate, the number-two product with 21.5% of the market, continues to grow but not as fast as the market, Towne-Oller data show. In the 12-month period through February, Kaopectate sales grew 3% to $ 31.8 mil. Far behind is the number-three brand, Robins' Donnagel suspension with 2.9% of the market. The Towne-Oller data indicate that the product continues to lose market share in the face of declining sales (off 8% to $ 4.2 mil.). The dominance of the antidiarrheal category by McNeil's loperamide brand is a testament to the power of Rx-to-OTC switches. And, as in the ibuprofen market, the success of one brand has attracted imitators. In recent months, Upjohn, Procter & Gamble, and Rhone-Poulenc Rorer have launched loperamide-based antidiarrheals. Procter & Gamble's Pepto Diarrhea Control liquid is already chasing Donnagel for the number-three brand. In addition, P&G is in the process of introducing a loperamide caplet dosage form ("The Tan Sheet" March 15, In Brief). Upjohn also is in the midst of a national roll-out of a new loperamide product, Kaopectate II ("The Tan Sheet" March 15, p. 3), and RPR has added a loperamide antidiarrheal to its Maalox line ("The Tan Sheet" March 15, p. 1). Another recent entry is Thompson Medical's Diar-Aid, which began shipping March 15. Eighteen-count packages are available this month in a "buy one, get one free special pack." The Diar-Aid launch will be supported with a $ 6 mil. ad budget in 1993 that will cover 15- and 30-second television spots. Diar-Aid packaging says the product can "Relieve diarrhea, often with just one dose," and touts loperamide as a "clinically proven ingredient" that was "formerly available by prescription only." Chart omitted.

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