Optimer Pharma estimates DIFICID gross sales in the United States and Canada for the three months ended Dec 31, 2012 were $21.3 mln, an increase of over 14.4% versus the prior quarter (OPTR) 9.25 : Co provided an update on 2012 sales for DIFICID (fidaxomicin) tablets, an antibacterial drug launched in July 2011 for the treatment of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD) in adults 18 years of age or older in the United States. Preliminary 2012 gross product sales in the United States and Canada totaled $74.4 million. Preliminary gross product sales for the fourth quarter of 2012 were $21.3 million in the United States and Canada.
We ended 2012 experiencing solid growth in fourth quarter DIFICID sales after introducing strategic initiatives to increase patient access to DIFICID and accelerate product adoption. Treatments shipped increased by over 14% from the third quarter. We believe the early response to our new strategy is very encouraging. Hospital contracting, among other efforts, appears to be having a positive impact. We are particularly encouraged by increased DIFICID use in hospitals that our sales force is targeting, and by the number of hospitals that are initiating a review of DIFICID's formulary position.