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CAPRICE-GREYSTOKE's SPRAY-U-THIN PPA PRODUCT BEGINS SHIPPING

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

CAPRICE-GREYSTOKE's SPRAY-U-THIN PPA PRODUCT BEGINS SHIPPING this month, the Vista, Calif.-based firm said, and will be sold in over 2,000 retail outlets nationwide. Available in 1.5 ounce- bottles of cinnamon, spearmint and chocolate mint flavors, the phenylpropanolamine appetite suppressant spray is the company's first over-the-counter product and the only appetite suppressant in spray form, Caprice-Greystoke stated. Retailers that have agreed to carry Spray-U-Thin include west coast chain Thrifty's, which will sell Spray-U-Thin in all of its 588 stores and expects to send 9 mil. mail-out coupons for the product in September. On the east coast, Legend Pharmacy Group of New York will carry Spray-U-Thin in 107 of its approximately 700 stores. Legend Pharmacy Group represents the test market for the Legend Pharmacy chain. Spray-U-Thin will be distributed to Legend stores by Holsin Drug. Product packaging for Spray-U-Thin states that the product "controls appetite" and also "freshens your breath." Directions for use instruct consumers to: "Take two sprays into the mouth and swallow before each of the three major meals." The package outside also notes that dieters can "spray . . . wherever and whenever needed." Caprice-Greystoke plans to kick off advertising for Spray-U- Thin in August with radio commercials airing on the top six FM radio stations in California. The firm has budgeted $ 200,000 for the California radio spots for September through mid-October. Radio ads also will begin on two New York radio stations before September. Detroit-based Robert Solomon and Associates is the ad agency of record. Other promotional plans for Spray-U-Thin include free-standing inserts running in California Sunday newspapers in September, as well as four-color print ads that are expected to appear in the late summer or early fall in magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Parade, BBW, Working Woman and Woman's Day. The print ads will target women 18 to 49 years of age, Caprice-Greystoke said. Infomercials also are being considered for Spray-U-Thin, but will not begin airing on a national basis until about the end of 1993. Caprice-Greystoke said that it initially developed Spray-U- Thin with benzocaine as the active ingredient rather than phenylpropanolamine. However, FDA told the firm that a benzocaine- based product could not be marketed because there were insufficient data on the effects of benzocaine in spray form and its effects on the lungs. FDA is in the process of evaluating the safety and effectiveness of phenylpropanolamine, and plans to place PPA in Category III (data insufficient to permit classification) in its upcoming notice of proposed rulemaking for OTC weight control products. However, FDA expects that its final decision will be affected by the results of a population-based, case-control study sponsored by the Nonprescription Drug Manufacturers Association that is designed to examine whether PPA in OTC diet aids is associated with an increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke ("The Tan Sheet" March 15, p. 8). The NDMA study has not yet begun. A public start-up company traded on the Vancouver stock exchange, Caprice-Greystoke registered sales of $ 129,411 for the nine months ended Feb. 28, an increase of 167% from the corresponding period the year before. Losses for the nine month period were $ 312,310, up 6% from the same period in 1992. The company attributed the 167% sales increase to initial shipment orders of Spray-U-Thin. Prior to Spray-U-Thin, the company's main revenue source was a line of hair care products, Spectron C-33, which was developed in 1971 by Caprice-Greystoke founder and CEO John Spector. Caprice-Greystoke reported that sales of Spectron C-33 have remained "modest as a result of our efforts to allocate resources for the promotion of Spray-U-Thin."
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