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Use of Rx to OTC Switch as Product Management Tactic Enjoys Comeback

NEW YORK, April 10 /PRNewswire/ -- There are 14 prescription drugs that exceeded $20 billion in sales in 2006, that may have the potential to reach the over-the-counter market in four years. Prescription to OTC switches were frequent in 2006 and 2007 and a new report by Kalorama Information, The Return of the Rx to OTC Switch: Market Analysis and Product Management Strategies, predicts this trend will continue.

The markets for Rx to OTC are forecast to reach $5 billion in 2008 and increase by close to 40% by 2010. More than half of the revenues in 2008 will be from allergy medications that have already made the switch, such as Claritin, Benadryl, Sudafed, Nasalcrom, Mucinex and most recently Zyrtec. However, the forecast compound annual growth rate from antilipidemic agent switches between 2008 and 2013 far outpaces that of the allergy category (127.5% versus 3%).

"Lagging FDA approvals led to a brief absence of Rx to OTC switches in the pharmaceutical marketplace, but 2006 and 2007 saw a number of switches," notes Melissa Elder, the report's author. "We believe this product management tactic will continue to be aggressively utilized as companies seek ways to extend revenue lifecycles."

Factors affecting this recent upswing in Rx to OTC switches include patent expirations, generic competition, suitability for OTC shelves, drug safety and efficacy, petitions to the FDA and manufacturer trends. Some future potential switches include leading gastrointestinal drugs Prevacid, Protonix and AcipHex; antilipidemic agents Mevacor, Pravachol, Lescol and Zocor; the allergy treatment Allegra; the migraine therapy Imitrex, and a number of oral contraceptives.

Kalorama Information's report Return of the Rx to OTC Switch: Market Analysis and Product Management Strategies contains a complete overview of the U.S. market for prescription drugs likely to switch in 14 different drug categories. Forecasts are provided for each segment for the years 2008 to 2013. The report includes current issues and trends affecting the industry and identifies trends that may arise in the future. The information and forecasts were gathered through secondary research and interviews conducted with industry executives. The report can be purchased directly from Kalorama Information by visiting

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. Kalorama routinely assists media with healthcare topics, and can provide experts to speak about markets in the life sciences industry. For more information, contact Andrea Hiller at 212-807-2673 or, or visit

SOURCE Kalorama Information
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