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BAUSCH & LOMB SUPPORTING CLEAR CHOICE ALCOHOL-FREE MOUTHWASH WITH $15 MIL.

Executive Summary

BAUSCH & LOMB SUPPORTING CLEAR CHOICE ALCOHOL-FREE MOUTHWASH WITH $15 MIL. in consumer and trade ads and promotions focused on consumers looking for a "healthier alternative in mouthwashes." Clear Choice will begin to reach store shelves in October, and Bausch & Lomb expects the product to reach full distribution by December. TV and print ads are slated to break in January. Bausch & Lomb said "surveys of dental professionals and consumers show that both groups will favor a mouthwash which is effective in killing germs and freshening breath without the alcohol content that is characteristic of the mouthwashes on the market today." Noting that "leading brands of mouthwash contain up to 27% alcohol," the company said "this high alcohol level is not necessary to kill germs that cause bad breath -- it is used primarily as a dissolving agent." Package labeling for Clear Choice states: "Fresh Breath Guaranteed," "0% Alcohol/Compare!," "Clear Mint" and "The Alcohol-Free Mouthwash." Bausch & Lomb's promotional materials for Clear Choice cite a 1991 National Cancer Institute study, "Mouthwash Use and Oral Conditions in the Risk of Oral and Pharyngeal Cancer," which, the firm said, "questioned whether alcohol could be attributed to oral cancer." "Although results are inconclusive," the company noted, "it is something of which consumers should be aware." The NCI study found an increased risk of oral cancer associated with the use of mouthwashes with an alcohol content of 25% or higher. In July 29 comments to FDA, the Nonprescription Drug Manufacturers Association asserted that there were "inconsistencies" and "major deficiencies" in the studies and argued that a reanalysis of the NCI study "leads to the conclusion that mouthwash use does not increase the subsequent risk of developing oral cancer" ("The Pink Sheet" Aug. 10, T&G-10). Clear Choice contains Tri-Med, a combination of domiphen bromide, poloxamer and cetylpyridinium chloride. The product "has proven effective at killing germs and fighting bad breath," Bausch & Lomb said. Other ingredients include purified water, glycerin, sodium phosphate, sodium saccharine and mint flavoring. The 16 oz. bottle has a suggested retail price of $2.99.
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