Also in Europe, the CHMP granted a positive opinion on INVOKANA for the treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes. We also increased our leadership presence in the hepatitis C market just last week with the acquisition of a Phase II compound for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C from an affiliate of GlaxoSmithKline. Under the terms of the deal, we acquired all rights to develop and commercialize that product.
In our MD&D segment, sales were essentially flat versus the prior year on operational basis, reflecting the continued market and pricing pressures, as well as, divestiture already described by Louise. Of note, however, was double-digit operational growth that we saw in the BRIC markets. Biosense Webster's electrophysiology products and our Cardiovascular Care business continues to deliver strong growth, as the joint reconstruction products in the orthopedics business, international sales in the Surgical Care business and continued good performance in the Specialty Surgery business.
Our Consumer business saw an operational sales increase of 2%, positive contributors to the operational results were analgesic brands MOTRIN and TYLENOL, AVEENO skin care products and international sales of baby care products.
I want to comment that as we continue to return a reliable supply of high quality OTC products for the shelves, we are seeing strong uptick in the market. As you can see, our U.S. OTC business posted strong, nearly 18% growth in the quarter.
Now let me provide some guidance for you to consider as you refine your models for 2013. Let me begin with a discussion of cash and interest income and expense. At the end of the third quarter we had approximately $10 billion of net cash. This consists of approximately $25 billion of cash and marketable securities and $15 billion of debt. We continued to generate strong cash flows from operations, which in this quarter were essentially offset by the finalization and related cash settlement of the accelerated share repurchase program that was initiated in conjunction with the acquisition of Synthes.
With that program now completed, we have resumed our normal share repurchases related to employee compensation programs. For purposes of your models assuming no major acquisitions, I'd suggest you consider modeling net interest expense of between $350 million and $400 million, slightly lower than our previous guidance.
Turning to other income and expense, as a reminder this is the account where we record royalty income as well as gains and losses arising from such items as litigation, investments by our development corporation and divestitures, assets sales or write-offs. This account is difficult to forecast, but at this late stage of the year we would be comfortable with your models for 2013 reflecting other income and expense as a net gain excluding any special items ranging from approximately $500 million to $600 million, which is lower than our previous guidance.
Now a word on taxes; for the third quarter of 2013 the Company's effective tax rate excluding special items was 19.3%. We suggest that you model our effective tax rate for the full year 2013 at approximately between 19% and 19.5% which is a tightening of the previous range. As always we will continue to pursue opportunities in this area to improve upon this rate during the remainder of the year.