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MARION MERRELL DOW AND TANABE SEIYAKU ANNOUNCE INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION INVESTIGATION OF CARDIZEM IMITATORS

 KANSAS CITY, Mo., March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Marion Merrell Dow Inc. (NYSE: MKC) and Tanabe Seiyaku Co. Ltd. today announced that the International Trade Commission has instituted an investigation to determine whether several overseas producers of diltiazem, the active ingredient in Marion Merrell Dow's Cardizem(R) brand of cardiovascular medications, and several U.S. companies that market products using the ingredients manufactured by these overseas producers are engaging in unfair trade practices.
 Specifically, the International Trade Commission, a federal agency that enforces laws against unfair trade practices, will investigate whether the producers are manufacturing bulk diltiazem by a process that infringes a patent held by Tanabe, which discovered the prominent cardiovascular drug and invented the patented process for its safe and economical production. The investigation is being conducted pursuant to 19 USC section 1337 and, under the regulations governing the commission's activities, must be completed within 12 months.
 In the complaint filed with the commission, Marion Merrell Dow and Tanabe alleged that the companies named in the complaint are importing diltiazem to the United States in violation of U.S. trade laws and asked the commission to halt the importation of the product by those companies.
 Companies being investigated include:
 Profarmaco Nobel SRL, of Italy, a producer, and Mylan Laboratories
 Inc., of Morgantown, W.Va., a generic drug marketer supplied by
 Profarmaco.
 Gyma Laboratories of America Inc., of Garden City, N.Y., a sales
 representative for Profarmaco.
 ABIC Ltd., a subsidiary of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Inc., of
 Israel, a producer that supplies diltiazem to various companies.
 Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Inc., of Collegeville, Pa., which produces and
 markets a branded diltiazem product that (unlike a generic) cannot
 be substituted by a pharmacist for any form of Cardizem.
 Orion Corporation Fermion, of Finland, a producer.
 Interchem Corp., of Paramus, N.J., the exclusive U.S. sales
 representative for Fermion; and
 Copley Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Canton, Mass., a generic marketer
 supplied by Fermion and Interchem.
 Headquartered in Osaka, Japan, Tanabe Seiyaku is one of the largest Japanese pharmaceutical companies, with a growing international presence. Headquartered in Kansas City, Marion Merrell Dow is a research-based global pharmaceutical company.
 -0- 3/31/93
 /CONTACT: David M. Thompson or Richard M. Johnson of Marion Merrell Dow, 816-966-4000/
 (MKC)


CO: Marion Merrell Dow Inc.; Tanabe Seiyaku Co. Ltd. ST: Missouri IN: MTC SU:

MC -- DV009 -- 1627 03/31/93 15:43 EST
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Date:Mar 31, 1993
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