Novartis Consumer Health, Inc. Launches First-To-Market Medicine in 'Thin Film' Form

Innovative Delivery System Promises to Fuel Cough/Cold Category Growth,

Revolutionize Medicine Delivery

Oct 06, 2004, 01:00 ET from Novartis Consumer Health, Inc.

    PARSIPPANY, N.J., Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Novartis Consumer Health, Inc. is
 set to launch the latest innovation in the over-the-counter, multi-symptom
 cough/cold treatment category -- the first systemic medicine in a convenient
 thin film form that melts on the tongue -- Triaminic(R) and Theraflu(R) Thin
     The breakthrough 'melts on the tongue' portable delivery mechanism is
 meant to be easy to administer providing fast, accurate dosing that is
 expected to increase compliance, particularly among children.  There is no
 need for water or measuring, and upon melting, the dose of medicine is
 swallowed, giving cold sufferers symptom relief while on the road to recovery
 -- at home, at work, or on-the-go.
     Today's consumers cite better portability, ease and accuracy of dosing,
 and overall convenience as the product attributes they seek most in a
 cough/cold medicine and 80 percent agreed that these attributes gave Thin
 Strips(TM) significant advantages over current medicine forms.  Triaminic and
 Theraflu Thin Strips are also the perfect alternative to traditional medicine
 forms, with more than 70 percent of current Theraflu(R) users indicating that
 they would use them in addition to other cough/cold products.
     Thin Strips will be used in line extensions of two popular Novartis OTC
 brands: Theraflu and Triaminic(R).  Theraflu Thin Strips treat the most common
 symptoms of a cold in adults and children 12 and older and will be available
 in two cherry-flavored treatment options: Long Acting Cough that quiets coughs
 for up to eight hours, and Multi-Symptom that, as well as quieting coughs,
 provides temporary relief from a runny nose and sneezing, and soothes itchy,
 watery eyes and throat.  Both will cost approximately $5.49 for a 12-strip
     Triaminic Thin Strips, for children ages 6-12, will also be available in
 two treatment options: Long Acting Cough that quiets coughs for up to eight
 hours, in cherry flavor, and Cough & Runny Nose, in grape flavor.  They will
 cost approximately $5.99 for a 16-strip pack.
     "The OTC business unit of Novartis Consumer Health, Inc. has more than
 40 years of experience delivering innovative self-medication treatments that
 address consumers' demands for convenience and compliance, including
 'first-to-market' cough/cold products in the form of hot liquids, vapor
 patches, and soft chews," said Jeff Vernimb, Vice President, Marketing,
 Novartis OTC, North America.  "Novartis' Thin Strips(TM) continue this
 tradition of innovation by applying this novel technology with proven
 effective active ingredients, making drug delivery more flexible and
 convenient than other delivery methods."
     Innovation and Category Growth
     Growth in the over-the-counter cough/cold treatment category is
 traditionally driven by new product innovation, with a 17.6 percent growth in
 dollar sales in the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 cough/cold seasons attributable to
 new product launches.  "Product innovation, such as Thin Strips, is critical
 to the category and fuels growth by continuing to improve consumer compliance
 and bringing new consumers to the category," added Vernimb.  Equally important
 for the category is the fact that Novartis was able to reduce the development
 time of its Thin Strips product in half, leapfrogging its competitors to bring
 this novel delivery form to market in time for cough/cold season 2004-2005.
     Greater Than Anticipated Demand
     Consumer demand for Triaminic(R) and Theraflu(R) Thin Strips(TM) is
 expected to be high, with more than 90 percent of those surveyed saying that
 they would recommend Triaminic and Theraflu Thin Strips to a friend.
     Advanced Taste Technology
     Triaminic and Theraflu Thin Strips use a proprietary taste system unlike
 other thin films currently on the market.  The Thin Strips taste technology
 was formulated to effectively mask the negative taste associated with the
 active ingredients.  Cherry or grape flavors, along with other ingredients,
 are then blended with the active ingredient.  The end result is a flavorful
 product that also reminds consumers that they're taking a medicine.  Triaminic
 and Theraflu Thin Strips are flexible and resist breaking into pieces --
 enhancing accurate dosing -- while providing the consumer with a first-of-its
 kind, highly palatable, medicine that can be dosed without water.
     Marketing Support
     A powerful, fully integrated marketing campaign including national TV,
 print and outdoor, radio advertising, promotions, educational activities, and
 professional outreach will support the launch of Thin Strips(TM).
     Triaminic(R) and Theraflu(R) Thin Strips(TM) are now available at grocery,
 drug, and mass merchandise stores.  "Due to extremely high retailer acceptance
 of the product, consumers may also find Thin Strips on sale in areas of the
 store outside the traditional cough/cold aisle," said Vernimb.
     For more product information, or to obtain a sample of Triaminic Thin
 Strips and a coupon off next purchase for both products, please log onto or call 1-800-KIDS-987 to request a free Triaminic(R)
 Clinic(TM) House Call Kit.
     About Novartis Consumer Health, Inc.
     The OTC business unit of Novartis Consumer Health, Inc., with headquarters
 in Parsippany, New Jersey, is a world leader in the development, production
 and marketing of self-medication products for the in-home treatment and
 prevention of medical conditions and ailments and for the enhancement of
 overall health and well being.  The OTC business unit is part of Novartis AG
 (NYSE:   NVS).
     About Novartis AG
     Novartis AG (NYSE:   NVS) is a world leader in pharmaceuticals and consumer
 health.  In 2003, the Group's businesses achieved sales of USD 24.9 billion
 and a net income of USD 5.0 billion.  The Group invested approximately USD 3.8
 billion in R&D.  Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies
 employ about 78,500 people and operate in over 140 countries around the world.
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SOURCE Novartis Consumer Health, Inc.