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Allegra retains allergy Rxs

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

New prescriptions for the non-sedating antihistamine are up 9% despite availability of OTC Claritin, Aventis tells analysts during Q4 conference call Feb. 5. Firm notes that after initial decline, the weekly increase for new fexofenadine Rxs has ranged between 9%-13% since mid-December. Rx gain could be because "a very high portion of our use is by a very small portion of the patients," Aventis explains, noting "about 30% of the patients account for about 70% of the use." Sales projections suggest Allegra growth will slow in 2003; Aventis is calling for single-digit U.S. sales increase this year, while domestic Allegra sales in 2002 were up 22% to $1.9 bil. Rx marketers likely will continue to be challenged by active measures on the part of managed care to encourage switches to OTC loratadine...
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