Contact: Lori O. Willis
Director of Communications
Schnuck Markets, Inc., (314) 994-4602
Sept. 12, 2003
Schnucks Brings Over-the-Counter Prilosec to Customers
First OTC Proton Pump
Inhibitor and the Only OTC Medication Specifically Indicated for the Treatment
of Frequent Heartburn
ST. LOUIS -- The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) recently finalized plans for the Sept. 15 launch of the popular heartburn medication, Prilosec, as an over-the counter (OTC) drug.
According to Schnucks Vice President of General Merchandise and Pharmacy Mike Juergensmeyer, the Schnucks warehouse will receive a mass shipment from distributor Proctor and Gamble at 12:01 a.m. on Sept. 15. All stores should be fully stocked with the product by noon.
Prilosec will be the only proton pump inhibitor available OTC. Proton or acid pump inhibitors work by turning off some of the acid-producing pumps in the stomach lining. This reduces the amount of digestive acid produced along with the occurrences of acid reflux.
Curtis Hartin, Schnucks director of pharmacy, said, "Prilosec OTC will be big news for the more than 40 million people nationwide who suffer from chronic heartburn pain (occurring more than two times per week)." He added, "Heartburn can be a debilitating illness. Many heartburn suffers say the discomfort often inhibits their ability to function normally. Thanks to this new ruling, a prescription strength (20 mg) remedy always will be close at hand."
However, Hartin warns, "It's important that people follow the directions on the box very carefully and use the medicine only when necessary. In rare instances, over medicating can mask other more serious diseases." Hartin suggests that persistent heartburn sufferers report their symptoms to their physicians.
The FDA decision reflects
prescription Prilosec's 15-year safety and efficacy track record. In addition, more than 18,000 people have
participated in clinical trials for over-the-counter approval. From 1996 to 2000, Prilosec was the
top-selling prescription medication in the world. During that time, there were more than 10 million patients taking
prescription Prilosec for a range of acid-related disorders.
Prilosec OTC is being brought to the over-the-counter market through an alliance between P&G and AstraZeneca, who will continue to market prescription Prilosec and Nexium for other acid-related disorders.
Schnuck Markets, Inc. is a family-owned company currently operates 100 stores and 93 pharmacies in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Mississippi. The company is listed 83rd in the Forbes Magazine listing of the nation's "Top 500 Private Companies." The family-owned company was founded in St. Louis in 1939.
About Proctor and Gamble: The P&G Health Sciences Institute is dedicated to identifying, developing, and using leading health care technologies in the development of effective products for both the developing and developed world (www.pghsi.com). The P&G Health Sciences Institute is dedicated to identifying, developing, and using leading health care technologies in the development of effective products for both the developing and developed world (www.pghsi.com).
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