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RORER, PROCTER & GAMBLE FORM DRUG PARTNERSHIP

RORER, PROCTER & GAMBLE FORM DRUG PARTNERSHIP

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Rorer Group Inc. Tuesday announced an alliance with Procter & Gamble Co. to develop and market prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceutical products.

The move comes one day after suburban Philadelphia-based Rorer announced a $1.7 billion agreement to merge operations with the pharmaceuticals operations of Rhone-Poulenc of Paris.Under the terms of the joint venture, Procter & Gamble will obtain exclusive U.S. marketing and distribution rights to Rorer's line of over-the-counter pharmaceuticals such as Maalox, Ascriptin and Perdiem.

Rorer, which will continue to manufacture the drugs, will gain rights to develop and market De-Nol, an anti-ulcer drug, and other prescription gastrointestinal compounds that Procter & Gamble has been developing.

Procter & Gamble is still negotiating for international rights to market and distribute some of Rorer's over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. The Cincinnati-based company also has received the rights to purchase Rorer's over-the-counter pharmaceutical company if Rorer decides to sell it.

Rorer will retain ownership of its brands, while Procter & Gamble will receive royalty payments for the prescription products. Both companies will share in the growth of the business.

Access to U.S. markets was considered a major reason for the merger with Rorer. Although Rhone-Poulenc is in the top 10 in the European pharmaceutical market, it had no direct marketing in the United States or Japan.

Procter & Gamble, with sales of $21.4 billion last year, manufactures and markets health care products as well as a wide range of laundry and cleaning products, personal care products, food and beverage products.

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