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 Strips(TM). 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 pack. 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). Availability 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 http://www.triaminic.com 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. For further information, please consult http://www.novartis.com.
SOURCE Novartis Consumer Health, Inc.