Pfizer launches medicine safety campaign

MADISON, NJ: Pfizer Consumer Healthcare is providing free bottles of Advil as part of a new campaign to educate consumers in the US about the disposal of expired or recalled over-the-counter medicines.

MADISON, NJ: Pfizer Consumer Healthcare is providing free bottles of Advil as part of a new campaign to educate consumers in the US about the disposal of expired or recalled over-the-counter medicines.

It's the first time that an Advil campaign has focused on this issue, said Rick Goulart, director of media relations for Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, although he noted that it is a "common industry practice" to address the expiration of over-the-counter medications.

A poll, which Goulart said was funded by Pfizer and conducted by Infogroup's ORC, reported that nearly half the 1,000 adult Americans it surveyed do not look at the expiration date on over-the-counter medications before taking them.

While the campaign website provides tips about medicine safety, it also includes information for consumers who are interested in switching to Advil and how the ibuprofen pain reliever was not involved with this year's recalls.

Johnson & Johnson recalled a number of over-the-counter adult painkillers this year, including Tylenol Extra Strength and Motrin IB, following reports of a musty or moldy odor. It also recalled several children's and infant's Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl, and Zyrtec products in April.

Suzy Cohen, a pharmacist who wrote “The 24-Hour Pharmacist” and the campaign's main spokesperson, announced the launch of the Advil campaign October 4 on The View. The public can visit the campaign's website, where coupons for a free bottle of Advil are available to the first 500,000 consumers who register.

Goulart said the brand is not using social media for this campaign. Media outreach is focused on TV and radio outlets although Goulart declined to provide specific names of the targeted news outlets or the campaign's budget.

Ketchum is providing support, said Goulart. The agency referred requests to the client.

It is the first campaign that Pfizer has launched for Advil since it acquired Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in 2009.

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