New treatment enters Rx sleep aid market

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A new insomnia treatment entered the increasingly competitive insomnia market Friday as the FDA approved Takeda Pharmaceuticals' Rozerem. What sets Rozerem apart from its competition is the fact that the drug is the first prescription sleep aid not designated as a controlled substance. The drug works differently than its competitors by stimulating melatonin receptors in the brain.
Takeda said Rozerem would be available in pharmacies by late September.
According to TNS Media, total ad spending for prescription and OTC treatments reached $48 million during the first four months this year suggesting spending will easily exceed to the $68 million spent in 2004 and could go $146 million for the year.
Sepracor's sleep aid Lunesta, averaged about 60,000 new prescriptions per week after its launch in April and posted $83 million in second quarter sales.
The newer entrants to the market are aiming to topple Sanofi-Aventis' Ambien, which accounts for $1.9 billion of the $2.1 billion U.S. prescription sleep aid market.
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