Healthcare Industry News:  sanofi-aventis 

Biopharmaceuticals FDA

 News Release - January 26, 2011

U.S. FDA Approves Number One U.S.-Prescribed Allergy Treatment Allegra for Over-The-Counter Use

Allegra® family of products to be available without a prescription across the U.S. this spring allergy season

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. and CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., Jan. 25, 2011 -- (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) -- sanofi-aventis U.S., and its U.S. Consumer Healthcare Division, Chattem, Inc., announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Allegra® family of allergy medication products for over-the-counter (OTC) use in adults and children two years of age and older. Additionally, Allegra-D®, which also relieves nasal congestion and sinus pressure, will be available without a prescription at the pharmacy counter for use in adults and children 12 years of age and older. Allegra® and Allegra-D® will be available in March 2011 in their original prescription strengths without a prescription.

"As an allergist, I'm often addressing my patients' concerns about treating their allergy symptoms with a medicine that can relieve their symptoms quickly and doesn't make them tired or groggy," said Eli Meltzer, MD, Co-director Allergy & Asthma Medical Group and Research Center, San Diego, CA. "The availability of the Allegra® family of products over the counter will provide my patients with the same effective relief they've received from prescription Allegra for many years, now without a prescription."

Over 40 million adults suffer from indoor and outdoor allergies in the United States. Allegra® offers fast, non-drowsy, 24-hour relief of allergy symptoms: sneezing; runny nose; itchy, watery eyes; and itchy nose or throat. Allegra® has provided allergy sufferers with relief of symptoms for nearly 15 years.

"Leveraging our U.S. Consumer Healthcare platform to convert prescription medicines to OTC products is a key growth driver for sanofi-aventis to become a diversified healthcare company also in the United States," said Hanspeter Spek, President, Global Operations, sanofi-aventis. "The approval of Allegra® for OTC use further validates our vision to increase our presence in the U.S. consumer healthcare market."

"We're pleased to provide U.S. consumer access to Allegra®, the number one U.S.-prescribed allergy treatment, allowing allergy sufferers to conveniently obtain a safe and effective medication without a prescription," said Zan Guerry, Chief Executive Officer, Chattem.

The Allegra® family of OTC products will be available without a prescription for allergy sufferers in drug, grocery, mass merchandiser and club stores nationwide. This includes Allegra® 24-Hour and 12-Hour Tablets for adults and children 12 years of age and older; Children's Allegra® 12-Hour Tablets for six years of age and older, and Liquid for use in two years of age and older; Children's Allegra® 12-Hour Orally Disintegrating Tablets for use in six years of age and older; and Allegra-D® 24-Hour and 12-Hour Allergy and Congestion Extended Release Tablets (with a decongestant) for use in children 12 years of age and older.

People can visit for more information. If allergy sufferers have additional questions, they should talk to their allergist, pharmacist or other healthcare provider.

About Allergies

Millions of Americans suffer from allergies. Allergies are caused when a person's body overreacts to substances called "allergens." These substances are often referred to as triggers. People can experience allergy triggers anytime throughout the year. Symptoms may include sneezing; runny nose; itchy; watery eyes; and itchy nose or throat. With proper management and patient education, allergy symptoms can be relieved.

About sanofi-aventis

sanofi-aventis U.S. is an affiliate of sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions to help improve the lives of patients. sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT:SAN ) and in New York (NYSE:SNY ). For more information, or

About Chattem

In March 2010, Chattem, Inc. became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the sanofi-aventis Group; as the consumer healthcare division of sanofi-aventis in the U.S. Chattem is approximately 130 years old and is a leading manufacturer and marketer of branded consumer healthcare products, toiletries and dietary supplements across niche market segments in the United States. For more information, please visit Chattem's website at

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. These statements include projections and estimates and their underlying assumptions, statements regarding plans, objectives, intentions and expectations with respect to future financial results, events, operations, services, product development and potential, and statements regarding future performance. Forward-looking statements are generally identified by the words "expects," "anticipates," "believes," "intends," "estimates," "plans" and similar expressions. Although sanofi-aventis' management believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, investors are cautioned that forward-looking information and statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of sanofi-aventis, that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied or projected by, the forward-looking information and statements. These risks and uncertainties include among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, future clinical data and analysis, including post marketing, decisions by regulatory authorities, such as the FDA or the EMA, regarding whether and when to approve any drug, device or biological application that may be filed for any such product candidates as well as their decisions regarding labelling and other matters that could affect the availability or commercial potential of such products candidates, the absence of guarantee that the products candidates if approved will be commercially successful, the future approval and commercial success of therapeutic alternatives, the Group's ability to benefit from external growth opportunities as well as those discussed or identified in the public filings with the SEC and the AMF made by sanofi-aventis, including those listed under "Risk Factors" and "Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements" in sanofi-aventis' annual report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2009. Other than as required by applicable law, sanofi-aventis does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information or statements.

Source: sanofi-aventis

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