With the launch of Zantac 75, Warner-Lambert sought to improve its position as the fourth largest global marketer of OTC products.
In 1994, Warner-Lambert and Glaxo Wellcome began serious discussions regarding the coordinated OTC switch of Zantac 75. After an agreement was reached between the two companies, a joint venture steering committee was formed to manage broad issues, and a Zantac 75 OTC product team was established to handle the initial day-to-day activities and decisions surrounding the Zantac switch.
In late 1994, the Zantac 75 OTC team began the commercialization phase of the project.
Results were excellent, suggesting that Zantac 75 could be a substantial winner.
All trade classes believed that the product had great potential, and each was planning to aggressively support Zantac 75. To accomplish this, they wanted strong pharmacist support, consumer information, direct shipment delivery, complete marketing materials at the launch and advertising timed to coincide with the launch date (rather than a typical six- to eight-week advance campaign).
From the perspective of the salesforce, Zantac 75 presented an entirely new market category, an important entry process (OTC switch), a new brand and a broadly scoped launch lacking a specific launch date.
19, 1995, the FDA approved Zantac 75 for the OTC market.
Although the acid relief category is still in a state of flux, Warner-Lambert believes that products such as Zantac 75 are underrepresented.
"In the time Zantac 75
has been launched, while mass started out with an edge from the first week, after the first seven weeks, the food channel gained in share while mass slipped.
The plunge in the sales of Zantac 75
may be explained in part by consumers' preference for the higher-strength Zantac 150, for which sales increased by nearly 7 % over the past year, according to IRI.
Prilosec's addition repeated a pattern experienced several years ago when a number of products, including Pepcid, Zantac 75
and Glaxo's Tagamet, made the transition from Rx to O-T-C status.