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Prevacid 24HR gains share

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Novartis claims Prevacid 24HR has about 30 percent of the overall OTC proton pump inhibitor market, based on recent weekly sales data. The figure likely indicates that sales of the lansoprazole product, launched in November 2009, are approaching those of Procter & Gamble's Prilosec OTC (omeprazole); however, a P&G spokesman said Prilosec OTC "is still the number one branded OTC PPI." Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis reported a 13.4 percent jump in Consumer Health net sales during its 2010 first quarter to $1.48 billion. A weak cough and cold season offset strong performances of OTC pain medicines, such as Excedrin, the firm said April 21. Total net sales in the January-March period grew 24.9 percent to $12.13 billion. Novartis continues its quest to acquire Alcon, despite the opposition of Alcon's directors, and expects to reach an agreement to buy the eye care firm in the second half of 2010 (1"The Tan Sheet" Feb. 15, 2010)

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U.S. sales help Novartis consumer segment

OTC sales growth helps drive Novartis' Consumer Health revenues up 7 percent to $1.5 billion in the firm's fiscal 2010 second quarter. The Asia-Pacific/Africa region and the U.S. led consumer sales growth at 13 percent and 11 percent, respectively, according to the Swiss firm's July 15 earnings release. Novartis said pain relief medicines, particularly Excedrin in the U.S. and Voltaren in Europe, were key contributors to OTC sales growth, but a "weak" cough and cold season in the January-March period slightly offset growth in that area. The firm added that advertising and promotions continue to expand U.S. market share for Prevacid 24HR, the OTC proton pump inhibitor it launched in late 2009 (1"The Tan Sheet" April 26, 2010, In Brief). Novartis, which was the first major pharmaceutical firm to report second-quarter results in an unusually volatile global economic environment, said overall sales rose 12 percent to $11.7 billion, and net income increased 18 percent to $2.4 billion

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Sanofi's consumer sales soar: Sanofi-Aventis' rapidly expanding consumer business grew 27 percent in 2009 to 1.43 billion euros ($1.96 billion). Sanofi plans to double Chattem's sales of $1.4 billion in part by switching the prescription allergy drug Allegra in early 2011, CEO Christopher Viehbacher said during a Feb. 10 earnings call (1"The Tan Sheet" Jan. 4, 2010). Sanofi completed its $19 billion acquisition of Chattem Feb. 9 (2"The Tan Sheet" Feb. 1, 2010). Overall, the firm's fiscal 2009 sales grew 5.3 percent at constant exchange to 29.3 billion euros ($40.26 billion). The firm continues to focus on its long-term, sustainable growth strategy of expanding its consumer health business, but Viehbacher notes the Paris firm has not forgotten its short-term strategy. "Sometimes you hear people talk about the long term because the short term is not so good," but Sanofi's 13.1 percent increase in earnings per share in fiscal 2009 to 6.49 euros ($8.91 based on Feb. 10 exchange rates) denotes a "very strong performance," he said

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