Switching things up
Clarinex (desloratadine), the next-generation prescription allergy remedy to the second-generation Claritin, is 1-of-3 blockbuster prescription medicines that may make the crossover from prescription-only to over-the-counter in the near future. If so, the medicine may take the podium as one of the four best-selling allergy brands — Zyrtec and Claritin currently top that list, with Allegra, launched last year, beating out all other cough-cold and allergy tablet brands with more than $220 million in sales through December.
Private-label manufacturer Perrigo already is prepared to offer a generic version of Clarinex in June, be it prescription or OTC. “It still has a very high probability it could be OTC, but [it’s] unclear at this time,” noted Perrigo chairman and CEO Joseph Papa in January. “Many of the remaining nonsedating antihistamines like Clarinex, like Allegra D12, we expect to have those over-the-counter.”
Other possible near-term switch candidates include the Lipitor statin, conceivable if Pfizer can generate favorable consumer usage studies where four had failed before. Beyond Lipitor, insomnia is another category under consideration for switch with the drug Silenor (doxepin). Somaxon Pharmaceuticals and partner Procter & Gamble this past fall announced the two companies were exploring switch options in time for the patent expiry in March 2013.
The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Cough-Cold & Allergy Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.
What’s up, Doc?
ATLANTA — DRS Health introduced a line of supplements with their doctors on the box, testament to the fact that almost 80% of all doctors recommend the use of supplements. One of the standout SKUs is the unique H3 Rapid Recovery, a beverage mix formulated to help the body rebuild after surgery, injury or trauma. It’s a supplement with unique tie-in potential at the pharmacy counter with post-surgical medicines and in-line with the braces assortment. Sales of all supplements were up 5.8% for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 24 across food, drug and mass, according to Nielsen.
Recalls a homeopathy opportunity
The spate of well-known brand-name recalls of late has created an opportunity of sorts for suppliers of homeopathic remedies, which arguably have a higher safety profile as compared with allopathic medicines.
The most recent recall in the analgesic aisle has come just as PuraMed BioScience is expanding distribution of its LipiGesic-M product for migraines fueled by doctor education. “We found that our early adopters are actually going to be [patients] that are dissatisfied Rx users,” said Russ Mitchell, PuraMed CEO.
Pain relief is one of the largest homeopathic categories sold in mass, according to SPINSscan Conventional data.