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Over-The-Counter Prilosec Debuts

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CINCINNATI, Sep 14, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Procter & Gamble Co. has over 1,200 trucks packed and ready to go Monday for the nationwide over-the-counter launch of its anti-heartburn drug, Prilosec.

The new drug could show up on some shelves the same day, The Cincinnati Post reported.

P&G predicts first-year sales of Prilosec OTC will fall somewhere between $200 million to $400 million, the Post said.

Already though, there is a major hurdle to be crossed.

The makers of Pepcid AC filed suit in federal court Friday, contesting the accuracy of Prilosec's advertising claims. Pepcid is the nation's No. 2 heartburn drug behind Tums.

P&G claims Prilosec OTC will provide relief for heartburn sufferers for 24 hours when used in a 14-day regimen.

A P&G spokesman told the Post the lawsuit would not cast a pallor on the roll-out.

"Our claims are absolutely true," he said.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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