SOURCE: Kalorama Information

Kalorama Information

January 28, 2011 12:08 ET

Allegra Switch to Energize OTC Drug Competition: Kalorama

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - January 28, 2011) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Allegra and Allegra-D drugs at their prescription strengths for over-the-counter (OTC) use, an event that Kalorama Information said was 'likely in the 1st quarter of 2011' in its recent report, "The Market for Rx to OTC Switches." The healthcare market research firm said the approval fits well with the drug maker's strategy and projects an 11% increase this year in the $2.7 billion market for allergy cold and sinus products as a result of this switch and strong OTC sales of existing products. 

"It was only a matter of time, as Allegra was one of the most pressured Rx-to-OTC switches in the industry," said Melissa Elder, OTC analyst for Kalorama Information. "Allegra is the last to switch, behind Claritin and now Zyrtec, after relentless efforts to force the switch of those products."

Sanofi-Aventis U.S., and its U.S. Consumer Healthcare Division, Chattem, Inc., announced recently that the FDA has approved the Allegra family of allergy medication products for over-the-counter use in adults and children two years of age and older. The Allegra and Allegra-D brand nasal and sinus treatment products will be available in March 2011 in their original prescription strengths without a prescription.

Switching Allegra to OTC shelves will be an easier transition for Sanofi-Aventis with the recently acquired OTC Company, Chattem. The company has confirmed an aggressive plan to 'ramp-up' the OTC division and is continuing to evaluate other products for switches in the future.

"The purchase of Chattem was partly made in order to have an avenue to the U.S. OTC market," Elder said.

Kalorama Information's "The Market for Rx to OTC Switches" contains further details on products that are likely to switch to OTC status and projects markets for these products. The report can be obtained at: http://www.kaloramainformation.com/redirect.asp?progid=80952&productid=6065752

About Kalorama Information
Kalorama Information supplies the latest in independent market research in the life sciences, as well as a full range of custom research services. We routinely assist the media with healthcare topics. Follow us on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/KaloramaInfo) and LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=2177845&trk=hb_side_g).

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