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Executive Summary

Glaxo's TV and print consumer ads supporting Zantac are aimed at frequent users of OTC indigestion aids. The advertising is designed by the William Douglas McAdams agency in New York. Like SmithKline's ad for Tagamet, the Glaxo campaign has a "see your doctor" message which does not mention the drug by name, but does cite the company. Glaxo's TV ad is scheduled to break on the three major networks April 11. The first consumer print ad will appear in the May issue of American Health, to be followed by placement in other magazines. The TV spot is designed to appear as a public service announcement aimed at frequent antacid users. The segment features a pharmacist recommending that a female customer see her doctor to find out why she is taking so many indigestion remedies. It ends with the tagline, "Brought to you by Glaxo: healthcare through discovery and innovation." The print ad is similar. Glaxo's first U.S. consumer ad campaign for a prescription drug will begin less than two weeks after SmithKline ventured into that area with a network TV ad for Tagamet on March 29 ("The Pink Sheet" March 14, p. 17). Glaxo's promotions will highlight Zantac's unique indication for gastroesophageal reflux. Tagamet has an NDA pending for that claim. Glaxo will also run Zantac ads related to the consumer ad theme in professional journals. The ads will appear in April, May and June issues. Unlike SmithKline, Glaxo has chosen not to use a series of "preview" ads in professional journals and on Lifeline Medical cable TV network to inform doctors and pharmacists about the network TV spots before they begin. Glaxo's agency, William Douglas McAdams, also handles consumer print ads for the ongoing Pfizer HealthCare Series. The Pfizer series, which began running in 1982, was one of the early, FDA-accepted drug industry efforts in direct-to-consumer marketing. McAdams recently placed a Pfizer ad on hypertension in Hippocrates and will place the ad again in a special healthcare issue of Newsweek in May. The ads are not drug specific. In addition to consumer advertising, Glaxo promotions for Zantac this spring will include a media tour by Harris Clearfield, MD, director of the division of gastroenterology at the Hahnemann University School of Medicine. The tour is intended to focus attention on results of a recent Glaxo survey of chronic indigestion aid users. Clearfield will discuss Zantac and its reflux indication during his appearances. Glaxo called a press conference March 31 to announce results of the survey. Titled "Heartburn Across America," the national survey of 1,000 adults was conducted for Glaxo by the Gallup Organization. Based on the survey, Gallup estimates that 13% of American adults use indigestion aids (including antacids) two or more times a week, and 59% do not intend to see a physician about it. The most frequently cited advice given to patients by physicians were diet (44%); antacids (32%); and prescription therapy (29%). Clearfield's media tour began in New York City with the press conference and is scheduled to go to New Orleans in mid-May to coincide with an annual conference of gastroenterological disease groups. He is scheduled to travel to 15 different markets by the end of the summer.

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