A long, strange trip: P&G's drug experience

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1982 P&G buys Norwich Eaton, entering Rx and OTC drugs for the first time.

1985 Acquires Richardson-Vicks.

1992 P&G joins Syntex in successful OTC launch of Aleve.

1994 P&G breaks ground on $500 million Health Care Research Center north of Cincinnati, spurring feds and Ohio to add lane to Interstate 71.

1996 P&G opens HCRC but sells stake in Aleve, citing inability to globalize it.

Late 1990s P&G twice discusses swapping drug business for Clairol with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. but rejects idea.

2000 P&G ends talks to buy Warner-Lambert and American Home Products, which would make it a major Rx player, after stock plummets on news. Following departure of Chairman-CEO Durk Jager, new CEO A.G. Lafley again talks drugs-for-Clairol swap, but accounting issues scuttle idea.

2001 P&G buys Clairol and keeps drugs. Mr. Lafley cites promise of Actonel, OTC switches, drug pipeline. Actonel launches and eventually becomes P&G's first billion-dollar drug.

2003 P&G gets FDA approval for Prilosec OTC rollout and three-year private-label protection. Prilosec jumps to 20%-plus market share within month of launch, despite court-ordered pullback on ad claims.

2004 P&G withdraws FDA application for heavily touted female sex patch Intrinsa for more testing after advisory panel cites safety concerns.

2005 Actonel starts losing share to new once-monthly Boniva. U.K. professor raises questions regarding P&G's Actonel research.

2006 P&G sues Roche/GlaxoSmithKline, charging false advertising of Boniva, then eliminates Rx R&D staff. "New business model" is to source drug from outside. Renames HCRC Mason Business Center. Private-label Prilosec launch looms.

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