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First Over-The-Counter Store Brand Omeprazole Offering in U.S. Market Creates New Option for Frequent Heartburn Sufferers

New Store Brand Omeprazole Delayed Release Tablet, 20 mg Delivers the Same Medicine at the Same Dose as Prilosec OTC(R), but More Cost Effective for

Nearly 30 Million Frequent Heartburn Sufferers Nationwide

ALLEGAN, Mich., March 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Beginning early March 2008, the nearly 30 million frequent heartburn sufferers nationwide will have a new treatment option available to them as retailers begin selling store brand Omeprazole, a proton pump inhibitor that will treat the same frequent heartburn symptoms as Prilosec OTC(R) at a significant cost savings for consumers.

"It is estimated that consumers could save more than $100 million annually by using store brand Omeprazole," says Fred Eckel, professor at the University of North Carolina School of Pharmacy and editor-in-chief of Pharmacy Times. "The savings will be even greater [up to 90%] for those whose insurance carriers no longer cover prescription Prilosec(R) or generic prescription Omeprazole."

"Store brand Omeprazole - which delivers the same medicine at the same dosage as Prilosec OTC(R) - is another example of how store brand over-the- counter medicines provide high quality healthcare products that are more affordable for consumers," says A. Mark Fendrick, MD, practicing internist and value-based healthcare specialist at the University of Michigan.

According to a new survey,(1) 85% of the adults suffering from frequent heartburn in the last six months report taking a prescription or over-the- counter medication to manage it. Sixty-three percent take over-the-counter medications (other treatment methods include Rx medications at 29%, changing diet at 22%, losing weight at 16% and reducing stress at 8%).

Frequent heartburn is an issue that affects lifestyle, as well, according to this new survey. Of those who experience frequent heartburn issues, 42% report sleeping troubles, 31% miss being able to eat/drink what they want, 31% have had throat issues (cough, tickle, laryngitis due to frequent heartburn) and 29% feel that managing heartburn is a struggle.

Prilosec(R), Prilosec OTC(R) and store brand Omeprazole are all proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). They begin working on the first day and the therapeutic benefits get progressively better with each additional treatment. An earlier class of GI drugs, including H2 Blockers, offers more rapid relief, but lasts only six to 12 hours.

According to data compiled by Information Resources Inc (IRI) and WoltersKluwer Health, the PPI market is one of the largest pharmaceutical segments in the market today. Prilosec OTC(R) and new store brand Omeprazole are currently the only PPIs that can be obtained without a prescription.

"Many health plan sponsors have been shifting coverage from prescription drugs in favor of lower-priced OTC offerings," says Dr. Fendrick. "Having a lower priced store brand Omeprazole offering frees up even more dollars for consumers to put toward other drugs and medical costs."

The store brand Omeprazole delayed-release tablets, 20 mg will be available at mass market retailers, drug stores and supermarkets nationwide beginning in early March and will be sold in 14-count, 28-count and 42-count packages. Store brand Omeprazole should be used as directed for 14 days for treating frequent heartburn and is not for immediate relief.

For more information about frequent heartburn, speak to your doctor/pharmacist or visit

(1) Survey Methodology: This heartburn survey was conducted online within

the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of The Perrigo

Company, manufacturer of store brand medicines, between December 10-

12, 2007, among 2,082 U.S. adults aged 18 and over among whom 1,120

experienced heartburn and 274 experienced frequent heartburn in the

past six months. Results were weighted as needed for age, sex,

race/ethnicity, education, region and household income. Propensity

score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to

be online.

Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link.

Fred M. Eckel, R. Ph.

SOURCE The Perrigo Company
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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