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This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Mark-up of legislation that would enable Schering-Plough's allergy drug (loratadine) and six other "pipeline" drugs to receive a three-year patent extension is delayed until after the congressional recess. The patent for Claritin is set to expire in 2002; by extending its patent life, the "Drug Patent Term Restoration Review Procedures Act" (S 1172), introduced by Sen. Robert Torricelli (D-N.J.), likely would mean a delay in what promises to be a high-impact Rx-to-OTC switch product. From the competition's standpoint, such a delay would stave off a serious challenge for numerous existing OTC allergy products such as Warner-Lambert's Benadryl line, McNeil Consumer Healthcare's Tylenol Allergy items and certain products in Whitehall-Robins' Dimetapp line. Opponents of the bill say it would stifle generic competition, thus inflating consumer pricing

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