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Ivax to provide "Continuity Of Care" with Qvar asthma product

MIAMI, FLA., Sept. 24, 2002 -- In response to Schering-Plough's discontinuance of the asthma product Vanceril 42 mcg Inhalation Aerosol (beclomethasone dipropionate CFC), Ivax Corporation launched an initiative to better educate the medical community and inform patients that its asthma product, Qvar (beclomethasone dipropionate HFA), would provide continuity of care for inhaled corticosteroid therapy for the long-term treatment of asthma.

Qvar is the only asthma product on the U.S. market that contains the same drug as Vanceril, but in a non-ozone-depleting CFC-free formulation.

Richard Denness, president of Ivax Laboratories, the company's U.S. proprietary pharmaceuticals subsidiary, said, "Nearly half a million Vanceril patients will need to switch to an alternative inhaled corticosteroid product. Our message is that Qvar has comparable efficacy and contains the same active ingredient as Vanceril.

"Ivax Labs has begun to aggressively increase awareness of Qvar among healthcare providers, managed care organizations, drug retailers and distribution companies, and the general public to ensure that patients receive continuity of care and are not unnecessarily converted to a different drug to treat their asthma."

Qvar is a novel formulation of beclomethasone dipropionate HFA (CFC-free) in a metered dose inhaler. It is approved in the maintenance treatment of asthma as prophylactic therapy in adults and children as young as five years old. Beclomethasone is one of the most widely prescribed orally inhaled corticosteroids to treat respiratory conditions. An important feature of Qvar's HFA formulation is that it produces an extra-fine aerosol mist that delivers the active ingredient in small particles so as to provide greater drug deposition in the large, intermediate and small airways of the lungs and less in the mouth and throat.

More than one million Vanceril prescriptions were written during the most recent 52-week period for which data is available, resulting in sales of approximately $40 million or more. This current discontinuance follows the removal of Vanceril 84 mcg Double Strength Inhalation Aerosol from the market earlier this year.

Source: Ivax Laboratories

Posted: September 2002

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