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Pfizer a powerhouse in the O-T-C business. (Marketplace 2002/Corporate Profiles).

MORRIS PLAINS, N.J.--With nearly a century in the consumer products business, Pfizer Inc.'s Consumer Health Care group has established a lineup that includes some of the most recognizable brands in the industry--such names as Listerine, Benadryl, Lubridenn, Neosporin, Sudafed, Visine, Desitin, BenGay and Schick.

Such a stable of brands has helped the company move to the forefront of numerous product categories. For instance, a recent Information Resources Inc. study shows that the supplier's Listerine is the top-selling oral rinse brand, controlling nearly 43% of the market.

Meanwhile, in the baby ointment category Pfizer's Desitin has around a 40% share; its Benadryl cold/allergy/sinus tablets top that segment, outselling the next leading brand by nearly 2-to-1; the company's Hall's cough drops have an almost 30% market share in a category where no other line even tops 10%; and Pfizer's Neosporin Plus and Neosporin rank Nos. 1 and 2 in the first aid ointments segment.

"More and more people are relying on self-medication when dealing with life's minor ills and discomforts," a spokesman for the company says. "To help them with these often chronic conditions, we offer a wide range of treatments."

In addition, he notes, because of its heritage as a pharmaceutical supplier Pfizer is at the forefront of prescription-to-over-the-counter switches.

Among the Pfizer drugs that recently made that change were the antihistamine eye drop Visine-A in the United States and the allergy drug Reactine in Canada.

Allergy relief, says the spokesman, is one of the company's key areas of concentration. Besides Benadryl, it markets Sudafed, the industry's top-selling O-T-C sinus treatment; the aforementioned Reactine (sold as a nonprescription product only in Canada); Actifed for relief from the symptoms of cough, cold and flu; and the sinus pain reliever Sinutab.

In oral care Pfizer continues to keep its 100-year-old Listerine brand fresh. Most recently, the line was extended with Listerine Pocketpaks strips, translucent, ultrathin strips of film made from the same ingredients as Listerine that dissolve instantly on the tongue and fight bad breath.

Other oral care brands in Pfizer Consumer Health Care's stable include Listerine Cool Mint toothpaste, Efferdent denture cleaner, Effergrip denture adhesive cream and Advanced Formula Plax, said to be the first prebrushing rinse for plaque removal.

For digestive health the company is best known as the marketer of the acid reducer Zantac 75 as well as Rolaids antacid tablets.

Another of the supplier's core categories is eye care, where it offers a wide variety of products under the Visine name. The line has been extended over the years with the antihistamine/decongestant eye drop Visine A, Visine Tears for dry eyes, and Visine for Contacts, a rewetting drop that can be used with extended or daily contact lenses.

Pfizer Consumer Health's skin care and first aid offerings include Desitin pediatric brands, Lubriderm therapeutic lotions, Neosporin antibiotic ointments and Cortizone hydrocortisone for relief from itches and rashes.

The company also markets Nix lice treatment; Hemorid, Tucks and Anusol hemorrhoid treatments; and Pacquin moisturizing cream for dry, chapped skin.

In addition, the supplier is well positioned in a number of other markets, including sleep aids with its Unisom brand; women's health with the e.p.t. home pregnancy test; shaving with the Schick and Wilkinson Sword, Silk Effects and Schick Xtreme III brands; and confections with its line of Adams gums and mints.

Pfizer Consumer Healthcare

201 Tabor Rd., Morris Plains, N.J. 07950-2693

Web site:

Phone: (212) 389-7000, Fax: (212) 389-7390

Primary business:


Oral hygiene, cough/cold/allergy treatments, antacids, first aid, pregnancy test kits, sleep aids


Skin care, shaving products

Marketplace booth #1222
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Publication:Chain Drug Review
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jun 24, 2002
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