A Marketing Assessment report of Pantopaque sales 1976-1977 conducted by Alcon Laboratories had sales of Pantopaque accounting for 82% of Lafayette product sales. Phone interviews conducted with radiologists confirmed that Pantopaque was the only contrast medium currently being used for myelography. (46)

Two radiologist interviewees mentioned a new aqueous preparation on the horizon that was under investigation but that had yet to be released by the FDA.

In terms of amount of Pantopaque used for myelography, the 3 cc ampules had been losing sales ground to the more recently introduced 6 cc and 12 cc ampules.

Sales by Lafayette Pharmacal were to the major distributors such as Picker, G.E., Litton and are 50% of the list price. According to Mr. Griggs of Lafayette, Picker sales accounted for 50% of the product sales. Using extrapolation, Picker had purchased $1,750,000 of Pantopaque which it would have sold for $3,500,000.

Since Lafayette personnel did not actively sell Pantopaque to radiologists, a gradual approach to phasing out Pantopaque distributors could potentially permit Alcon to convert most of the business to direct sales through LPI within 2 years. There was also a statement that there appears to be a certain amount of receptivity medically to an aqueous product which is still under investigation.

Regarding the assessment of the potential impact of the availability of water soluble contrast medium:

"It may never be approved by FDA but, if it is, it could nibble into our 100% marketplace position."

The assessment concluded:

"On balance....no marketing considerations have presented themselves to preclude our moving forward on the acquisition. We will not double sales in one year by cutting out distributors quickly, but we do have much room to maneuver company sales to a substantially higher level within 2-3 years."

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