Blockbuster drug RFPs up for grabs

NEW YORK: The battle for several million dollars worth of PR work

is on. Two pharmaceutical giants have issued RFPs for potential

blockbuster drugs now being launched in the US.



Aventis, the French-German pharma company, has offered RFPs for its

popular insulin tablet Amaryl and newcomer Lantus. Schering-Plough,

which produces allergy medication Claritin, has an RFP in review for its

new allergy drug Clarinex.



Aventis grossed $20 billion during 2000, according to its

website. Amaryl was one of its fastest growing drugs, increasing 55.8%

between 1999 and 2000. It is not known how much the RFP for Amaryl is

worth.



Lantus, which was officially introduced to the US on May 10, is an

injection based insulin drug. Lantus currently accounts for 28% of

insulin drug profits in Germany. According to various sources, the

Lantus RFP is worth $2 million. Fleishman-Hillard used to

represent Lantus.



Schering-Plough hopes to switch users of Claritin, its $3 billion

dollar allergy empire, to Clarinex. Schering-Plough would neither

confirm nor deny that an RFP was issued.



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