FDA Approves Lamisil(R)(AT)(TM) Solution for Switch to OTC

Novartis Consumer Health Speeds to Market with Fastest Consecutive Rx-to-OTC

Switch Under the Lamisil AT Brand Name

Mar 21, 2000, 00:00 ET from Novartis Consumer Health, Inc.

    SUMMIT, N.J., March 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Novartis Consumer Health, Inc.
 announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given
 approval to switch Lamisil(R) Solution, 1% (terbinafine HCl solution), from
 prescription to over-the-counter (OTC) status for the treatment of
 interdigital athlete's foot, jock itch and ringworm.  Lamisil(R)(AT)(TM) Spray
 Pump and Lamisil(R)(AT)(TM) Solution Dropper are the only OTC antifungal
 liquids that cure athlete's foot between the toes with just one-week of
 treatment.  The new liquid products will be introduced in the spring of 2000,
 just in time for the peak summer athlete's foot season.
     The approval of Lamisil(AT) Spray Pump and Lamisil(AT) Solution Dropper
 follows the switch of Lamisil(AT) Cream within just twelve months.  This may
 well be the fastest consecutive switch under a single brand name in the
 history of prescription to over-the-counter switches.
     Lamisil(AT) Cream was granted switch approval March 9, 1999.  Lamisil(AT)
 Cream achieved the number one market share just five weeks after launch and
 OTC unit sales surpassed prescription unit sales in just 15 weeks.
 Lamisil(AT) Spray Pump and Lamisil(AT) Solution Dropper are also expected to
 be market leaders, since they contain the same full-prescription strength
 medicine as Lamisil(AT) Cream.
     "Patients are 'form loyal' in the athlete's foot category," said Nardo
 Zaias, MD, Director, Dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami Beach,
 Fl.  "Lamisil(AT) Spray Pump and Lamisil(AT) Solution Dropper offer more
 delivery options while providing a superior dosing regimen of one week of
 treatment for athlete's foot between the toes versus four weeks for all other
 OTC liquid antifungal products."
     Lamisil(R) Tablets is the leading prescription oral antifungal for the
 treatment of fungal nail infection (onychomycosis) and will remain available
 only by prescription.  Lamisil(R) Solution, 1%, will also remain available by
 prescription-only for the topical treatment of tinea versicolor.
     Lamisil(AT) is marketed by Novartis Consumer Health, Inc.  Novartis
 Consumer Health, headquartered in Summit, New Jersey, manufactures, develops
 and markets a wide range of branded products the purpose of which is to
 restore, maintain or improve consumer health. Key businesses include OTC
 (over-the-counter medicines), Health and Functional Nutrition, Baby and Infant
 Business, Vitamins/Minerals/Supplements and Ingredients and Medical Nutrition
     Novartis is a world leader in healthcare with core businesses in
 pharmaceuticals, consumer health, generics, eye-care, and animal health. In
 1999, the Group (including Agribusiness) achieved sales of USD 21.7 billion
 and invested more than USD 2.8 billion in R&D. Headquartered in Basel,
 Switzerland, Novartis employs about 82,400 people and operates in over 140
 countries around the world. The Group recently announced plans to spin off its
 Crop Protection and Seeds sectors and to merge them with the agrochemicals
 business of AstraZeneca in the second half of 2000.
     Contact: Kate King of Novartis Consumer Health, 908-598-7039

SOURCE Novartis Consumer Health, Inc.