Another rebranding in the works

by Caleb Reading

I’ve mentioned Nexium here before, which is the active isomer of Omeprazole (prilosec). As soon as prilosec was about to go generic there were ads on TV for “new” Nexium (which costs about $100/month more in cash price). Ask your doctor about this amazing coincidence in timing.

Well, Nexium’s been around awhile, so now we’ve moved on to phase three: add something to it and patent it again.

Via reuters:

Schering-Plough HealthCare Products, Inc. has submitted a New Drug Application (NDA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a ZEGERID(R) branded omeprazole/sodium bicarbonate product in a 20 mg dosage strength of omeprazole. Schering-Plough is seeking FDA approval to sell the product in the U.S. over-the-counter (OTC) heartburn market, which is estimated at $1.6 billion in 2007 based on data from A.C. Nielsen, a market research firm, and company estimates.

So it’s prilosec plus Alka-Seltzer. At least they’re trying to make it OTC instead of prescription-only. Maybe the drug company caught on that those of us who work in a drug store and want to be able to afford health insurance have been telling patients what Nexium really is and would do the same about Zegerid. I don’t mind if health insurance is expensive because somebody’s cancer just got cured, but I do mind when I have to pay 35% of my income for a $2,500-deductible catastrophe medical/prescription plan because the drug companies want to rebrand everything under the sun then market it directly to the same type of people who buy magic foot detoxing pads and headache wax sticks for the forehead.