Riding the direct-to-consumer advertising wave, Schering, through Marketing Manager Steven Andrzejewski, supported the product last year with $30 million in media ads through pharmaceutical agency Thomas Ferguson Associates, Parsippany, N.J.
Only Pharmacia & Upjohn's Rogaine hair restorer and Glaxo Wellcome's Flonase allergy nasal spray received more overall consumer spending in 1995.
Pleased with its ad results, this year Schering began spending heavily on TV spots, still considered pioneering due to restrictive rules laid out by Food & Drug Administration. The ads must not specify what symptoms the drug treats if its brand name is used, causing confusion for those not familiar with the product.
A big advantage for Claritin was its ability to leverage the weaknesses of Seldane and Johnson & Johnson's Hismanal, which interact with certain antibiotics and antifungal drugs.
Claritin is eagerly awaiting FDA approval to cross over-the-counter, where it is expected to make a similar huge impact in that market.