Triaminic and Theraflu Thin Strips Receive 'Best Product of 2004 Award' At First Convenience Industry News 'Stars of the Industry' Awards Ceremony

    PARSIPPANY, N.J., Nov. 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- A mere three weeks
 after their official launch, Triaminic(R) and Theraflu(R) Thin Strips(TM) have
 been named "Best Product of 2004" by Convenience Industry News (CIN) magazine.
 Thin Strips(TM), the first multi-symptom cough and cold medicines to deliver
 an accurate dose in a thin film form, were selected from more than 100
 applicants for their portability, convenience, and consumer acceptance.
     The CIN judging panel, comprised of convenience-store industry
 professionals, based its selection on the five factors of taste and quality
 ingredients, packaging, consumer acceptance, innovation, differentiation, and
 convenience.  The winners were named at the recent National Association of
 Convenience Stores Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
     Convenience Industry News' marketing director, Leila Khalil, commented,
 "The competition for the first CIN Awards was incredibly strong and the
 category of general merchandise 'Best Product of 2004' was one of the toughest
 to judge. The diversity of products entered in this category, such as
 batteries, cameras, mints, and air fresheners, meant that the judges had to
 hone in on each product's unique attributes and compare them on their benefits
 to consumers.  Novartis' Thin Strips products impressed the judges with their
 innovation.  We believe the combination of thin film technology with active
 medicine is certain to gain wide consumer acceptance and pave the way for
 other medicines to move to this portable, exceptionally convenient form.   In
 turn, we expect that Thin Strips will help deliver excellent growth for the
 convenience store category."
     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(1).  "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," continued Khalil.  The
 convenience store category is of significant importance to manufacturers, with
 more than 100,000 stores across the US achieving gross sales of $290.6 billion
 in 2002(2).
     "Novartis Consumer Health, Inc. is delighted to be recognized and honored
 by Convenience Industry News.  With 40 years of "firsts" including hot
 liquids, chewable tablets, vapor patches and now Thin Strips, the company has
 made a firm commitment to delivering innovative self-medication treatments
 that address consumers' demands for convenience. This commitment to product
 development helps drive category growth while giving our retail partners the
 products they need, when they need them," said Jeff Vernimb, vice president,
 Marketing, Novartis Consumer Health, OTC.
     Theraflu Thin Strips treat the most common symptoms of a cold in children
 12 and older and adults and are 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
 cost approximately $5.49 for a 12-strip pack.  Triaminic Thin Strips, for
 children ages 6-12, are 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 cost approximately $5.99 for a 16-strip pack.
     The '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 convenient symptom relief while on the road to recovery at home, at
 work, or on-the-go.
     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
     About Convenience Industry News
     Convenience Industry News (CIN) is a comprehensive news source for c-store
 industry professionals wanting to be informed of the latest trends, innovative
 marketing ideas, and the top news in every category of the petroleum and
 convenience store sector. As the retailer's source for new ideas in marketing
 and merchandising, CIN features product introductions in the core categories
 of the industry and profiles top executives at the major chains and
 corporations across the United States. CIN circulation is currently at 42,000
 and growing, reaching a high number of independent retailers.  CIN
 communicates not only with all the corporate decision makers, but also with
 the most difficult group to reach--operators who make the buying decisions at
 the store level. Convenience Industry News is on track to reach its goal of
 becoming the reference guide for the convenience store industry.
               (1) IRI Data -- C/C Season, Oct -- Jan 2002-2004
               (2) Convenience Industry News

SOURCE Novartis Consumer Health, Inc.

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