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Prilosec over-the-counter therapy now available for treatment of frequent heartburn

CINCINNATI, Sept. 15, 2003 /PRNewswire/ -- The 50 million Americans who suffer from frequent heartburn(1), or heartburn that occurs two or more days per week, now have a new class of medication available without a prescription.

Prilosec (omeprazole), one of the world's top-selling prescription drugs in its class and now available over-the-counter for the treatment of frequent heartburn as Prilosec OTC (omeprazole magnesium delayed release tablets), will be offered to consumers at a 20 mg strength. Prilosec OTC will cost less than $1 per pill.

"We're excited to bring a new class of heartburn medicine to customers and consumers across the country," said Joe Arcuri, General Manager of P&G's North America Personal Health Care business. "Until now, millions of people with frequent heartburn have been dissatisfied, but with Prilosec OTC they'll now have access to a medicine that can treat frequent heartburn for 24 hours with each pill when used for 14 days."

According to a recent survey conducted by the National Heartburn Alliance, half of frequent heartburn sufferers believe it is impossible to live heartburn-free. More than 90% say that frequent heartburn negatively impacts their quality of life. Now, with the availability of Prilosec OTC, consumers have convenient access to the first and only OTC treatment specifically indicated for once daily treatment of frequent heartburn for 14 days.

Prilosec OTC is the first of a new class of OTC heartburn medicines that works differently from every other non-prescription heartburn medication. It is the only OTC drug that shuts down active acid pumps at the source of stomach acid-production. Research has shown that Prilosec OTC is highly effective for the treatment of frequent heartburn as part of a 14-day treatment(2).

Prilosec OTC is being brought to the over-the-counter market through an alliance between P&G and AstraZeneca. AstraZeneca will continue to market and sell prescription Prilosec and its other acid inhibitor, NEXIUM (esomeprazole magnesium), for the treatment of heartburn associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other acid-related diseases.

(1) 2003 National Heartburn Alliance Survey

(2) American College of Gastroenterology Annual Meeting. Seattle, Washington, September 2002

Source: Procter & Gamble and

Posted: September 2003