July 4, 1996 in Nation/World

Nicotine Patch Goes On Sale Over The Counter

Associated Press
 

A nicotine patch to help smokers kick their habit will go on sale in stores this month, after the government approved its sale without a prescription.

But Nicotrol by prescription hasn’t proved a cure-all for the cravings smokers experience as they try to quit. And the over-the-counter version won’t either, the Food and Drug Administration said.

About 20 percent of smokers who tried non-prescription Nicotrol in tests succeeded in quitting for a month - about the same success rate as various other anti-smoking aids.

“If you still have cravings after six weeks, check with your doctor,” said Dr. Debra Bowen, the FDA’s director of over-the-counter drugs. “It can take a couple of tries for people to quit.”

Smokers began buying nicotine chewing gum over the counter in April. But they also have called for non-prescription patches to send nicotine straight into the bloodstream.

The FDA approved Nicotrol on Wednesday, giving McNeil Consumer Products a jump on its competitors with one-dose nicotine patches that smokers are supposed to apply once a day for six weeks.

McNeil said smokers can buy the first non-prescription Nicotrol on July 18. An exact price wasn’t named, but McNeil estimated consumers will spend just under $30 a week.

© Copyright 1996 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Get stories like this in a free daily email


Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus