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Roche Introduces New Klonopin K-Punch Tablet

NUTLEY, N.J., Nov. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Roche Laboratories Inc., a subsidiary of Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc., today announced a new look for its anticonvulsant Klonopin(R) (clonazepam). Each tablet will have a "K" punched in the center of the tablet; the new tablet is designed to be immediately recogniable as Klonopin.

A benzodiazepine cleared for marketing by the Food and Drug Administration in 1976, Klonopin has provided safe and effacious treatment of seizures for more than 20 years.

"The new K-punch tablet will allow Klonopin patients to quickly recognize their medication, visually as well as tactually, and alert their physician and pharmacist if a substitution has been made," said Jonathan Solsky, M.D., director of clinical medicine and medical affairs, Roche Laboratories. "We want to ensure that all Klonopin patients receive optimal patient care."

To help educate patients about the new appearance of Klonopin, Roche Laboratories is creating information that can be distributed by physicians and pharmacists at the time the prescription is written or dispensed.

Side effects of Klonopin are those generally associated with any benzodiazepine including drowsiness and impaired coordination. Accordingly, physicians who prescribe the medication should advise patients to use caution when driving or operating machinery and avoid taking alcohol or other central nervous system depressant drugs.

Roche Laboratories urges physicians who prescribe Klonopin to advise patients immediately of the change in the appearance of the tablet. A recent Roche survey reported that 94 percent of American adults contact their physician, nurse or physician's office, or ask their pharmacist, if they receive a medication that is a different color, size or shape than their regular prescription, before taking it. Almost two-thirds (62 percent) of the survey respondents said they would be more concerned about taking a generic medication for a sensitive condition than if the generic medication were being substituted for a less serious problem. The survey was conducted by Opinion Research Corporation (ORC), Princeton, N.J., and has a confidence factor of plus or minus 3 percent when projected to the U.S. adult population. ORC polled 1,014 Americans, 510 male and 504 female.

Headquartered in Nutley, N.J., Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., is an affiliate of the multinational group of companies headed by Roche Holding Ltd. of Basel, Switzerland. One of the world's leading research-intensive health care companies, Roche has discovered, developed and introduced numerous important prescription pharmaceuticals. The company is also a major provider of diagnostic products and services as well as vitamins, premixes and other products for human and animal nutrition and health. Recognized for excellence in both biotechnology and traditional chemistry, Roche is also widely known for its current efforts in the research, development and commercialization of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology, a revolutionary advance in diagnostics and other fields, including biomedical research, forensics and environmental testing.

SOURCE Roche Laboratories Inc.
 -0- 11/22/96

/CONTACT: Valerie Suga of Roche Laboratories, Inc., 201-562-2174/

CO: Roche Laboratories Inc.; Hoffmann-LaRoche, Inc.; Roche Holding Ltd. ST: New Jersey IN: MTC HEA SU: PDT

MT -- NYF019 -- 5681 11/22/96 08:33 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 22, 1996
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