Reuters: CVS/pharmacy will stock Tylenol in only half of its stores

NEW YORK — CVS/pharmacy has decided to stock Tylenol pain reliever in only half of its stores, according to a Reuters report published Monday. 

According to the report, CVS will stock Tylenol in each market, but not in each store as CVS seeks to plug any out-of-stock holes left behind by the initial recall of Tylenol three years ago and the brand's slow trek back to shelf. 

Children's Tylenol liquid suspension had been making a comeback in the past year. According to SymphonyIRI Group data for the 52 weeks ended Oct. 7, across all channels Children's Tylenol was again the leading internal analgesic brand with $42.5 million in sales, up 27.5%. Across adult tablets, however, Tylenol is the No. 4 brand ranked behind Advil, Aleve and Bayer with a sales decline of 39.2% to $153.9 million. Private brand acetaminophen has been the big winner since Tylenol's first recalls — sales of all private label internal analgesics totaled $1.3 billion for the 52 weeks ended Oct. 7, up 12.7%.  

Perrigo had been preparing for Tylenol to reclaim its marketshare throughout 2013. "We feel the right way for us to look at [Johnson & Johnson] is we'll take it a quarter by a quarter relative to their return to the marketplace," Perrigo chairman, CEO and president Joe Papa told analysts this past fall. "The operating assumption that we have in our business, it is continue to expect that as they return to the business that instead of our normal 90%, 91% retention rate, when the consumer makes a decision to move from national brand to store brand, … that we would retain approximately 50% of the consumers that have moved from the national brand to the store brand because they could not, there was no access to a national brand product."

"We’re looking forward to the return of the OTC products, and we know that we’re delayed in that return," J&J VP finance and CFO told analysts in October 2012. "We want to do this right. But of course we see those returning over the near term horizon in 2013. And so all in all I think the business is on sound footing. … I think the investments we made were the appropriate ones. They’re paying off," he said. "So I feel pretty good about where the business is right now."

Johnson & Johnson will be addressing analysts on Jan. 22 at 8:30 a.m. EST to discuss the company's fiscal 2013 results.

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