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March 10, 1994|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Britain OKs Non-Prescription Tagamet: SmithKline Beecham said the British Department of Health has approved its best-selling peptic ulcer drug for over-the-counter sale. It is the first time Tagamet 100 has been approved for non-prescription sale anywhere, a company spokesman said. Marketing the drug directly to consumers is expected to boost Tagamet's declining market share. Last year, prescription sales declined 6% from the year before. The patent for Tagamet expires in the United States in May, and analysts are concerned that SmithKline revenue could be badly hurt by generic competition.

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