Retailers, consumers seeing purple

Customers are seeing purple again — reminiscent of another switch that took advantage of the eye-catching color purple. Sanofi-Aventis through its Chattem division in March launched Allegra, the last of the second-generation antihistamines. And purple-powered displays, like this in a Walmart in Lancaster, Pa., dotted the retail pharmacy landscape.

“We will make very, very massive investments in terms of advertising and promotion, and we are in fact very confident and even optimistic that in a very, very short [time] we will reach sales levels [as high as] the two leading products in this field,” boasted Hanspeter Spek, president of global operations for Sanofi-Aventis, a few weeks before the actual launch. 

Though Allegra is not expected to reach the sales heights of $200 million-plus like its two second-generation antihistamine predecessors, Claritin and Zyrtec, an incremental $100 million-plus to OTC allergy sales is not out of the question.

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