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Perrigo, Merck partner on Nasonex OTC Switch

As it places its pharmaceutical business on the auction block, Irish company Perrigo is looking to take a big first step into the expansion of its consumer healthcare strategy it said would accompany the offloading of its Rx arm.

Perrigo said it had entered an exclusive agreement with a subsidiary of Kenilworth, N.J.-based Merck to develop an over-the-counter formulation of Merck’s Nasonex nasal spray. Under the agreement, Perrigo will hold the exclusive marketing, distribution and selling rights to the product in the United States once it clears the requisite regulatory hurdles. The companies did not disclose financial details.

A successful Rx-to-OTC switch for the product would have a big impact on the nasal spray category, as Nasonex brand and generic sales totaled $214 million for the 12 months ended June 2018, according to IQVIA data.

“This announcement exemplifies inorganic opportunities to expand the OTC self-care market while enhancing long-term growth in our U.S. consumer business,” said Perrigo president and CEO Uwe Roehrhoff. “Leveraging our innovative product development capabilities and efficient supply chain enables us to enhance our durable OTC portfolio by establishing a framework to actively participate in future switch opportunities

Perrigo executive vice president and consumer healthcare Americas president Jeff Needham said the companies would work to bring the OTC product to market in a shorter time frame than the five years that is standard of switches.
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