J&J creates virtual spring for OTC version of Zyrtec

NEW YORK: Johnson & Johnson kicked off the official launch of its over-the-counter (OTC) version of Zyrtec last week by constructing a virtual spring in New York's Central Park called "Spring Wonderland Dome."

NEW YORK: Johnson & Johnson kicked off the official launch of its over-the-counter (OTC) version of Zyrtec last week by constructing a virtual spring in New York's Central Park called "Spring Wonderland Dome."

The drug had been the leading prescription drug for allergies in the US in 2007, with sales of $1.57 billion. The Food and Drug Administration approved the drug for nonprescription use last November, and it is now available in tablets, chewable tablets, and a syrup formulation.

The Central Park display ran from January 24-27, providing visitors with a reminder of spring - and the allergies the season tends to usher in - by including activities like gardening and pet training. Dome visitors also got a complimentary cup of hot chocolate.

Cohn & Wolfe is providing PR support on the launch, PRWeek has learned. Sources confirmed the agency won the business last year. Bonnie Jacobs, spokesperson for the pharmaceutical company, declined to discuss the business.

Also last week, the FDA gave Schering-Plough approval to change the labeling on Claritin, Zyrtec's biggest competitor, to tell consumers the product works to relieve both indoor and outdoor allergies. The change brings it into line with Zyrtec's label.

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