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Pfizer Consumer Healthcare.

Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, 201 Tabor Rd.

Morris Plains, N.J. 07950-2614

Phone: (973) 385-2000 Fax: (973) 385-2000

Web site: www.sudafed.com

Key contact: Lori Deo, marketing director for Sudafed and Sudacare

MORRIS PLAINS, N.J. -- Pfizer Consumer Healthcare is offering a new version of its Sudafed brand without the ingredient that has often been used in home laboratories to produce methamphetamine, an illegal and highly additive drug.

Pseudoephedrine has been replaced with another substance known as phenylephrine in a new product called Sudafed PE, which is currently shipping to retail outlets nationwide.

The replacement ingredient cannot be used to make methamphetamine and is considered both safe and effective under the guidelines of the Food and Drug Administration monograph system.

Last year the Drug Enforcement Administration reported that more than 7,000 meth labs were dismantled across the nation. The drug has grown in popularity in recent years, and its production and use have spread from the South and Southwest. Meth is now most prevalent in California and the Midwest.

In many states in the United States pharmacists keep Sudafed and other cold medicines used to make methamphetamine behind the counter or in locked glass cases. Oklahoma also requires that such medications be distributed by a pharmacist, and other states are considering similar restrictions.

Sudafed PE has been sold for a number of years in the United Kingdom and has proved safe and effective, according to Lori Deo, marketing director for Sudafed and Sudacare.

"So far the response to the Sudafed PE launch has been favorable and optimistic," points out Deo. "Retailers are embracing the fact that there is now an alternative to pseudoephedrine and are looking forward to this possibly being a category solution going forward, but want to see how the consumer is going to vote."

Packaging on Sudafed PE clearly spells out its difference, with "New Formula" highlighted on the packaging as well as the tagline "Does not contain pseudoepedrine."

In addition, Deo points out that Pfizer hopes the dual line will offer consumers nationwide a broader, more convenient range of options for treating their sinus, cold and allergy needs, particularly in states that restrict pseudoephedrine.

Sudafed PE is priced a bit higher than the original Sudafed. While $3.50 purchases a 24-count bottle of the original Sudafed, the same amount of money will obtain an 18-count bottle of Sudafed PE.

Some retail chains are allocating the same shelf space to Sudafed PE as they did to the original Sudafed, while others are replacing slow sellers in the category with the new product.

Pfizer has taken a proactive leadership role in the whole pseudoephedrine situation, says Deo.

"We worked on many technological solutions and are happy to report that we're coming forth with a solution that we know can be effective in terms of the O-T-C issues associated with methamphetamine conversion," Deo explains. "We're hoping that the industry will follow our lead in providing technological solutions going forward."

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Publication:MMR
Geographic Code:1U2NJ
Date:Feb 7, 2005
Words:491
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