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Zegerid OTC hits retail

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Merck's Schering-Plough HealthCare Products begins marketing the first dual-ingredient OTC proton pump inhibitor April 1. Zegerid OTC (omeprazole 20 mg/sodium bicarbonate 1100 mg), licensed from Santarus, is available nationwide, Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based Merck said. In marketing materials, the firm plays up the PPI's unique formulation and lack of enteric coating due to the sodium bicarbonate's buffering function. Although Zegerid OTC features the tagline, "Discover the Difference," its Web site, 1www.ZegeridOTC.com, does not draw comparisons to PPI competition, including Prilosec OTC (omeprazole 20 mg) and Prevacid 24HR (lansoprazole 15 mg). Instead, Merck cites the advantages of Zegerid OTC over H2 blockers and antacids for relieving frequent heartburn

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