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OTC Xenical?

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Switch of Rx obesity treatment orlistat under consideration by Roche, firm tells analysts during Aug. 14 update on first-half financials. "We have been looking...at what it would take to move the brand, or part of the brand, into an OTC arena," Roche Pharmaceuticals Head William Burns says, adding that any switch would not be "an immediate action." Six-month sales of the drug were down 18%, with the entire obesity treatment category declining 17%, according to Roche. In an Aug. 15 meeting with U.S. investors, CEO Franz Humer says Roche is "making progress on the disposal of the Vitamins & Fine Chemicals business. We are in discussions with a number of industrial buyers and financial buyers." Due diligence is underway, and firm expects to announce "final disposal" of business by year-end. Division's first-half sales fell 1% in local currencies to approximately $1.17 bil. (CHF 1=$.67), according to 1Roche's earnings report...
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