Filling the Gap

WSJ put some numbers to my post about competitors moving to fill the Vioxx gap.

At stake: Vioxx’s $2.5 billion in 2003 sales. Marketers have only a brief opportunity to pounce. “People are going to go with something in 10 days, whatever period, two weeks. How long do you wait?” asks John V. Allen of Lippincott Mercer, a brand consultant. As long as would-be substitutes refrain from pointing fingers at Merck, he says, they shouldn’t raise hackles.

And here are the pitches the alternatives are using:

  • “Don’t Let The Recent News About Your Arthritis Medicine Stop You From Treating Your Arthritis Pain” — Tylenol Arthritis Pain
  • “With All The Recent News On Prescription Vioxx, You May Be Asking What The Right Pain Reliever Is For You.” — Advil
  • “Celebrex has been making people with pain and arthritis feel better for years. And now we want to ease your mind too.” — Celebrex
  • “If You Were Prescribed VIOXX For Your OSTEOARTHRITIS or RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS Ask Your Doctor If Mobic Is Right For You.” — Mobic