Rogaine, Nicorette going OTC

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The Food & Drug Administration on Monday gave approval for two popular prescription products to be sold over the counter: Pharmacia & Upjohn's Rogaine hair growth product and SmithKline Beecham's Nicorette, an aid in quitting smoking. Both products face uncertainty of marketing exclusivity, however, since Rogaine's patent expires Tuesday and Nicorette is no longer protected but seeks OTC exclusivity.

Pharmacia & Upjohn has already announced that a $35 million network TV and cable campaign from Grey Advertising is set to begin in May for Rogaine. Companion products Rogaine for Men and Rogaine for Women will carry a suggested retail price for a one-bottle, one-month supply of $29.50, approximately half the current prescription price.

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