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This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet

Executive Summary

ORTHO's RETIN-A OFF-LABEL USE QUANTIFIED in a statistical study comparing the types of patients receiving prescriptions for topical tretinoin before and after the anti-acne drug received a substantial amount of publicity as a potential anti-wrinkle treatment. The study, "Drug Promotion for an Unlabeled Use -- the Case of Topical Tretinoin," by Ronald Stern, MD, appeared in the Nov. 17 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine. The article concludes that "the greatly increased attention to topical tretinoin in the medical and lay press and the substantial increase in the number of prescriptions written for this agent since 1988 suggest that [Ortho Pharmaceutical's] actions in promoting the unlabeled use were successful and highly profitable." Retin-A is indicated only for treatment of acne.

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