Victims of high blood pressure can already choose from six ACE-inhibitors--the newest treatment for their ailment. That's why the market's newest entrant, Ciba-Geigy, is offering price protection for buyers of Lotensin, its ACE-inhibitor that went on the market in mid-July.

The plan works like this: A patient pays the wholesale price of the drug plus a standard pharmacy markup--ranging from 22% for a bottle of 30 pills to 5% for a 100-pill supply. In future years, Ciba-Geigy will reimburse patients for any price increase over and above that initial charge. The offer is a gamble, since the drug will have to meet an annual sales projection of $100 million if Ciba-Geigy is to make a profit on the scheme.

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