Wal-Mart Becomes One Of The First To Offer Over-The-Counter Zyrtec
Wal-Mart announced that the FDA’s most recent prescription to over-the-counter (OTC) approved drug, Zyrtec® (cetirizine HCl) is now available at select Wal-Mart U.S. stores. Wal-Mart will offer eight different OTC Zyrtec products, including tablets, chewable tablets and syrup in each of its 4,128 U.S. stores by January 23 for prices that will help relieve allergy sufferers of their itchy eyes and runny noses, and save them money.
Zyrtec’s maker, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a division of McNeil-PPC, Inc., estimates that OTC Zyrtec will cost up to one third less than the average prescription co-pay for Zyrtec. And, Wal-Mart is committed to helping customers save even more. For example, the 45 count OTC Zyrtec product, which Wal-Mart expects to be most popular among its customers, is available for less than $29.
Employing learnings from its successful June 2007 launch of Alli™ (orlistat), the first FDA-approved OTC weight loss drug, Wal-Mart utilized its supply chain efficiencies to get Zyrtec on shelves as fast as possible and keep the product in stock. The product was available in select Wal-Mart stores on Monday, January 21 and will be in all stores nationwide by January 23.
“Many of the country’s 50 million allergy sufferers have looked to us for their prescription Zyrtec, and we’re sure they’ll continue to look to us for the OTC product. In fact, they’ll look to us for the lowest price on OTC Zyrtec and we don’t plan to let them down,” said Dr. John Agwunobi, senior vice president and president for Wal-Mart’s professional services division. “Our commitment to making healthcare products more affordable and accessible is no secret -- and our $4 prescription program is only one example. As products go from Rx to OTC, we will work to get them on our pharmacy shelves fast and priced lower than our competition"
Since June 2007, Wal-Mart has saved customers more than $14 million over prescription costs by offering Alli, the only FDA-approved OTC weight-loss product, at a great value. The drug has since become its best-selling OTC diet product. Wal-Mart anticipates similar results with the launch of OTC Zyrtec.
OTC Zyrtec is approved to relieve indoor and outdoor allergy-related sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes, as well as itching due to hives. OTC Zyrtec is approved to treat these symptoms in adults and children as young as two years old.
Wal-Mart will also sell non-prescription Zyrtec-D® (cetirizine HCl, pseudoephedrine HCl), which will be available behind the pharmacy counter.
Wal-Mart will promote the availability of over-the-counter Zyrtec through prominent placement in circulars, Wal-Mart TV, www.walmart.com and on billboards.
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