Public Release: 

FDA approval means Americans with osteoarthritis have a new option

Porter Novelli

Contact: Donna Lindquist Porter Novelli 312-856-8873 -or- Pam DeMala Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 203-798-4700

New to U.S., Medication Has Treated Millions of Patients in More Than 100 Countries

RIDGEFIELD, CT (April 14, 2000) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved MOBIC (meloxicam) tablets for marketing as a treatment for osteoarthritis. This decision gives patients in the United States an alternative that has been used in millions of patients worldwide for relieving the pain and stiffness associated with the disease. As the population ages, the need for effective pain relief from osteoarthritis -- which currently affects 80 percent of Americans over age 65 -- is expected to increase. Millions of people are still searching for an effective treatment they can tolerate. For these patients, today's clearance of MOBIC tablets for marketing in the U.S. provides an important new option.

MOBIC tablets will be marketed in the United States jointly by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Abbott Laboratories.

Often, arthritis patients try several medications and find they are not effective or cause side effects that make tolerating the medication difficult. Some patients keep searching, while others simply give up. MOBIC tablets provide a new alternative for patients -- when beginning therapy or when other treatments are discontinued.

"Osteoarthritis can be a very debilitating condition, often diminishing the quality of daily life for people who suffer from it," says Dr. David Yocum, director of the University of Arizona Arthritis Center. "Many of these patients cannot be successfully treated with current options, and even the newest choices do not work for everyone. MOBIC tablets provide patients with a new alternative when other treatments are discontinued, whether due to lack of efficacy or side effects."

The safety and efficacy of MOBIC tablets were established through clinical trials involving more than 22,000 patients both here and abroad. The majority of patients taking MOBIC tablets experienced relief from their osteoarthritis symptoms with a low incidence of gastrointestinal side effects.

In the United States, MOBIC tablets are indicated as a once-daily medication for relief of the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis. As the third new non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) introduced to the market in the past two years, MOBIC is being priced approximately 20 percent less than CELEBREX®* and VIOXX®** for the starting and maintenance daily dose of 7.5 mg.

Osteoarthritis -- a painful, debilitating disease that causes cartilage acting as a cushion in joints to break down -- is the most common form of arthritis, affecting primarily older Americans. More than $65 billion is spent each year on medical expenses and lost wages related to arthritis. ,

Like any medication, MOBIC tablets are not appropriate for everyone. Patients who have a known allergy to meloxicam, aspirin or other traditional NSAIDs should not use MOBIC tablets, nor should women who are, or may be, pregnant. Although use of MOBIC tablets shows good gastrointestinal tolerability, gastrointestinal ulcers can develop without warning symptoms. Patients and physicians should remain alert to the earliest signs and symptoms of gastrointestinal bleeding.

For additional information regarding MOBIC tablets, including the full prescribing information please visit http://www.MOBICtablet.com.

*CELEBREX is a registered trademark of G. D. Searle & Co.

**VIOXX is a registered trademark of Merck & Company, Inc.

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Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in Ridgefield, CT, is the largest U.S. subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation (Ridgefield, CT) and a member of the Boehringer Ingelheim worldwide group of companies. Boehringer Ingelheim, headquartered in Ingelheim (Germany) ranks among the top 20 pharmaceutical companies in the world. It reported revenues exceeding $4.97 billion in 1998.

The corporation has more than 140 affiliated companies and it conducts business on every continent. Its product range is focused on human pharmaceuticals -- hospital, prescription and self-medication -- as well as animal health.

The company has substantial research and development, production, and distribution facilities around the globe. In 1998 Boehringer Ingelheim spent $902 million on R&D, equivalent to 18% of total sales.

Abbott Laboratories is a global, diversified health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceutical, diagnostic, nutritional and hospital products. The company employs 57,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries. In 1999, the company's sales and net earnings were $13.2 billion and $2.4 billion, respectively, with diluted earnings per share of $1.57. Abbott news releases and other information are available on the company's web site at http://www.abbott.com.

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