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Zegerid OTC approved as heartburn remedy


WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. Zegerid OTC has been approved for sale as a nonprescription remedy for frequent heartburn, Schering-Plough Healthcare Products, the over-the-counter division of Merck, reported Tuesday. The product is expected to reach store shelves early next year.

“Zegerid OTC is another demonstration of our commitment to bringing innovative treatments to consumers,” stated Stan Barshay, EVP and president of Schering-Plough HealthCare Products. “For millions of Americans dealing with frequent heartburn, the availability of prescription-strength Zegerid OTC is important news, and we’re pleased to offer this unique, dual-ingredient, over-the-counter product.”

Zegerid OTC contains a patented dual-ingredient formulation that combines the leading prescription acid reducing medicine (omeprazole) with sodium bicarbonate, which protects the omeprazole from acid in the stomach.

Schering-Plough Healthcare has created a web site for the new OTC PPI at where those interested can opt-in for e-mailed updates.

The formulation is marketed as “immediate release” as a prescription drug, however that claim does not appear on any OTC marketing. Procter & Gamble had challenged the “immediate release” claim during the Zegerid switch process, suggesting the claim would  be confused as “immediate action” by consumers.

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