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ICN to Suspend Production in Russia

THE STATE / HEALTH

December 16, 1998|Bloomberg News

ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc., the biggest drug maker in Eastern Europe, said it will suspend production at its five Russian plants for 20 days beginning Christmas Day, because the slumping Russian ruble has slashed consumers' purchasing power. "Our warehouses are filled with medicine that can't be sold," said company spokesman Sergei Korol. The ruble has tumbled 69% since August, and Korol said distributors owe ICN $34 million for previous supplies. Costa Mesa-based ICN said sales of drugs produced in Russia will rise to about $215 million this year from $150 million last year, but still will fall about 20% below expectations. ICN shares rose $1 to close at $21.88 on the NYSE.

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