Oh What A Headache At Syntex

It's a good thing Syntex makes painkillers. On June 2, company execs got the bad news: An advisory committee to the Food & Drug Administration recommended that Syntex' flagship product, the popular arthritis drug Naprosyn, not be approved for over-the-counter use. Syntex stands to lose big in December, when Naprosyn, a billion-dollar drug, goes off patent. The company had teamed up with Procter & Gamble hoping to sell Naprosyn without a prescription, but the FDA committee had concerns over the lack of data demonstrating that the drug is safe in OTC doses. Given Syntex' nearly empty new-product pipeline, this setback sets it way back.

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