Sanofi's US division acquires Rolaids brand

French drugmaker Sanofi's US division acquires Rolaids brand

Associated Press

It turns out Rolaids spells relief S-A-N-O-F-I.

The French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi plans to re-launch the antacid treatments, known for its commercials that asked viewers how they spelled relief.

Rolaids products have been off the U.S. market for more than two years following recalls because of manufacturing problems.

Sanofi said Monday its U.S. consumer health care division, Chattem Inc., completed its acquisition of worldwide rights to the Rolaids brand from Johnson & Johnson's McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Chattem expects that its over-the-counter Rolaids products will be available at retailers within a year.

J&J recalled the antacids in the United States in December 2010, because wood and metal particles were potentially introduced into the products during the manufacturing process at an outside supplier.

The Rolaids recall was among dozens that have plagued J&J since 2009. The company has recalled a host of prescription and nonprescription medicines, as well as replacement hip joints, contact lenses and diabetes test strips.

Shares of J&J fell 17 cents to $71.38 in Monday trading, while U.S.-traded shares of Sanofi dropped 10 cents to $47.93, as broader trading indexes also fell less than 1 percent.

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