What's worse than having your drug's sales cut by 80% thanks to generic competition? Having its sales cut by 100% when the FDA changes the drug's status to over-the-counter.
That's what happened to Pfizer
The change in ZYRTEC-D's status is a good sign that the FDA will give regular ZYRTEC -- the same antihistamine without pseudoephedrine -- over-the-counter status soon. Even a fraction of the $1.6 billion a year in sales that prescription ZYRTEC fetches could help Johnson & Johnson justify the $16.6 billion it paid for Pfizer's consumer health-care business.
ZYRTEC will have to compete with OTC versions of Schering-Plough's
The FDA's move was expected, so there weren't any wild moves in stock price in either direction for Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson, but you can add ZYRTEC-D to the laundry list of products that J&J sells. If J&J can continue to increase sales of its consumer health-care products and turn around its stent business, it would have a chance to get out of its funk.
More Foolishness for your stuffy nose:
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