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Product recalls trigger realignment in pediatric analgesics.

NEW YORK -- When small children fall ill with colds or flu, medicating them can be a source of stress and worry for parents. Liquid analgesics have been an invaluable resource, providing relief in a kid-friendly delivery system while giving some peace of mind to parents.

The category has been in turmoil of late, however, because of product recalls by Johnson & Johnson. Liquid Tylenol, Children's Tylenol and Children's Motrin have all seen sales dive in the high double digits.

As a result, category sales through food, drug and discount stores (excluding Walmart) during the 12 weeks ended December 26, 2010, tumbled 22%, according to SymphonyIRI Group Inc. However, J&J's loss has given an opportunity to several other brands as well as private label products, which achieved 97% dollar growth and a 66% share.

Among the winners have been Pfizer Inc.'s Children's Advil, which became the top-selling brand. Blacksmith Brands Inc.'s Pediacare took the No. 3 spot, while Novartis Consumer Healthcare's Triaminic took the fourth spot.

Another Pfizer entry, Infants' Advil, took sixth place, while Actavis Inc. moved into the eighth position, followed by Cobroxin from Xenacare Holdings Inc.

While most children will take liquid medicines, some simply will not, and Actavis Inc. is achieving growth with FeverAll by offering an alternative delivery form: suppositories.

"Because it is a suppository, there are no worries about a child spitting it out, like with liquid medications," says Sarita Thapar, director of medical affairs for Actavis.

Negative headlines about product recalls and safety may, however, be affecting consumer perceptions of traditional over-the-counter medicines. A Hart-man Group study conducted on behalf of homeopathic medicine manufacturer Boiron Inc. reveals that 82% of women polled are trying to limit their overall usage of O-T-Cs, not because of lack of confidence in their efficacy, but doubts about whether the products are "good for them," especially when used often.

"Moms in particular are very conscientious about not 'pumping their kids full of chemicals,' as one mother put it," says John Durkin, vice president of sales and marketing for Boiron. "Overdosing is a primary concern, and the notion that homeopathic medicines work naturally with the body resonated with moms."

Boiron offers a range of children's homeopathic remedies, and the newest is Camilia, a solution for painful gums and irritability caused by teething. The single-use doses are easy to administer and worry free, Durkin says, and there is no risk of over-medicating or numbing a baby's gag reflex. Camilia joins Boiron's other Children's products, Oscil-lococcinum, Chestal and Cold-calm pellets.

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Title Annotation:SUPPLY SIDE
Publication:MMR
Date:Feb 7, 2011
Words:420
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