Schering-Plough Press Release


Madison, N.J., September 3, 1997 — Schering-Plough Corporation and Reckitt & Colman plc today announced an agreement giving Schering-Plough exclusive worldwide distribution rights, excluding Japan, Taiwan and Korea, to Reckitt & Colman’s buprenorphine hydrochloride line of prescription products. The products include SUBUTEX, for the substitution treatment of opiate addiction, and TEMGESIC, an analgesic.

Under previous agreements with Reckitt & Colman, Schering-Plough markets SUBUTEX in France and TEMGESIC in France, Portugal, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg and a number of countries in Latin America. The new agreement provides for certain Reckitt & Colman distribution agreements for buprenorphine hydrochloride to continue pending expirations.

"This agreement provides Schering-Plough with an opportunity to expand patient access to an effective treatment that addresses what is a significant public health and social policy issue in many countries," said Thomas C. Lauda, executive vice president, Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals. "SUBUTEX offers a valuable tool as countries seek to reduce the human and economic costs of substance abuse, particularly those associated with the increasing incidence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis (HCV) in the intravenous (IV) drug-abusing population."

Lalith de Mel, group director, global pharmaceuticals, Reckitt & Colman, said, "For many years since Reckitt & Colman’s discovery of buprenorphine in the 1960s, it has been recognized that not only is buprenorphine a very good analgesic, but it has added potential for the treatment of opiate addiction. We are pleased that this agreement will allow Reckitt & Colman to focus more clearly on its strategic intent of developing its over-the-counter pharmaceuticals business, while enabling Schering-Plough to fully capitalize on buprenorphine’s global growth opportunities." SUBUTEX is a sublingual tablet formulation of buprenorphine. The product has been marketed in France since early 1996 as a substitute treatment for addiction to reduce heroin craving, illicit drug use and withdrawal symptoms. SUBUTEX has enabled many opiate addicts in France to become stabilized on an effective, comprehensive therapy program that includes medication and various psychosocial treatments.

SUBUTEX offers a valuable addition to the treatment choices available for transitioning patients from active drug use to abstinence from heroin. The unique mechanism of action of SUBUTEX provides desirable properties in the treatment of opiate addiction and an additional element of safety for patients. These include low levels of traditional narcotic effects such as physical dependence, euphoria and withdrawal.

TEMGESIC, an opioid analgesic, is marketed in injectable and sublingual formulations for the symptomatic treatment of moderate-to-severe acute or chronic pain.

Reckitt & Colman, based in London, develops, manufacturers and markets leading household and pharmaceutical products in 120 countries around the world.

Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals is the worldwide pharmaceutical research and marketing unit of Schering-Plough Corporation, a research-based company engaged in the discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceutical and health care products worldwide.


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