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Australia Edition 3

  • Text
  • Australia
  • Australian
  • Products
  • Advertising
  • Consumers
  • Promotion
  • Largest
  • Launched
  • Australians
  • Consumer
  • Edition

THE MARKET The

THE MARKET The Over-The-Counter analgesics market is one of the most valuable self-medication markets internationally, with global sales estimated at more than four billion US dollars annually. In Australia the retail analgesics market is currently estimated at 0 million a year. As the trend towards selfmedication continues, led by government initiatives to reduce public spending on healthcare, steady market growth is expected to continue. Australians consume more than 70 million tablets of Disprin each year, purchasing the product through both pharmacy and grocery outlets with grocery being the predominant place of purchase. ACHIEVEMENTS The use of aspirin-like substances can be traced back to Hippocrates in 400BC, who advocated the use of willow bark exn·act to help relieve pain in childbirth. Since aspirin was first made available to the public in Victorian days, it has become the world's most widely used pain reliever. Even today it retains its position as a leading analgesic in spite of the large nw11ber of other pain remedies developed since then. Aspirin's main analgesic competitor is paracetamol which, although effective enough against pain, lacks two particular attributes that aspirin possesses - its antiinflammatory action and its cardiovascular indications. When Reckitt & Colman first launched Disprin 50 years ago, it was heralded as the most in1portant advance in aspirin since the drug was first 'discovered' in 1899. Why so important? Because, although aspirin was known to be a remarkably effective drug, some individuals were prone to digestive upsets and gastiic discomforts as a result of swallowing solid tablets ofthe drug. While many attempts were made between 193 8 and 1948 to overcome these issues by providing aspirin in a soluble form, none was successful until the invention ofDisprin and that success was not easily won! HISTORY In 1939, Reckitt & Sons Ltd, seeking to build upon its reputation gained in the medical field by the earlier introduction of its hugely successful Dettol antiseptic, took up the challenge. Chemist Harold Scruton was given his brief: "Develop a stable, soluble aspirin- one that won't crumble or absorb too much water to be effective". Because of the Second World War, Scruton only had simple ingredients to work with. Indeed, the Reckitt & Colman UK site itself was bombed, but Scruton and his team of chemists continued working in their makeshift laboratory in a laundry in Hull, UK. Scruton found that mixing aspirin, chalk and starch - which was in plentiful supply in the laundry - produced a tablet that was both soluble and stable. The challenge facing the Disprin development team was finding a base that would not react with the aspirin until the moment of administration, when it had to react fast and form a completely soluble salt. This was eventually achieved using calcium carbonate. But chemical problems were not the only challenges ... there were also mechanical ones to deal with. Tablets had to be punched out using rudimentary tools- three pieces of steel, and a hammer! It is interesting to note that today's high-speed tableting machines still work on the same basic principle. After I 0 years of hard graft, Disprin was finally inn·oduced to the medical profession in November 1948 at the London Medical Exhibition held in Westminster, London. It was heralded as the most important advance in aspirin since the discovery of the drug, and, appropriate to the product's wartime heritage, its sales were soon 'going like a bomb'. As Disprin was formulated specifically to overcome stomach problems, the brand was quickly endorsed by doctors and pharmacists who began to see excellent stomach tolerance levels compared to solid aspuin. THE PRODUCT 50 years later Disprin is still going strong and despite advances in science and medicine, the brand remains as relevant today as it was half a century ago. Several modifications to the Disprin 34

formulation have occurred over the years to improve tablet dispersion characteristics and simplifY the manufacturing process. In more recent times, a small amow1t of flavowing agent has been incorporated, but the soluble aspirin aspect has remained the core of the Disprin brand. Disprin's solubility guarantees that more aspirin is absorbed into the bloodstream than from solid aspirin tablets, giving a more effective level of pain relief. Its soluble fmmat also means it can reach the bloodstream faster, with research indicating that it can start to be absorbed in as little as 5 minutes, reaching maximum analgesic levels up to 3 times faster than solid paracetan1ol tablets. Disprin counteracts pain and elevated temperature (fever) and is therefore suitable for common aches and pains, from backache and period pau1 to headaches and sore throats. Its anti-inflammatory action also makes Disprin an excellent analgesic for pain with inflammation such as muscle pain, arthritis and toothache. More recently, research has shown that aspu·in is an excellent choice for treating migraine headache attacks. Its quick absorption helps to overcome the problems posed by gasn·ic stasis during migraine and long lasting relief can be achieved after 30 minutes . It is also now well known that low doses of aspirin, taken every day, can considerably reduce the risks of heart attack and stroke in individuals who have already suffered these problems. Aspirin may also be useful in helpu1g people who have a high risk ofheati disease by reducing the likelihood of fu·st heati attacks. There is also growing evidence that aspu·in may help in reducing the risk of colon cancer and cataracts and in preserving people's mental function in old age! RECENT DEVELOPMENTS Fifty years after its launch, Disprin is celebrating a new golden era. 1998 was a particularly exciting year for Disprin. Not only did it mark the 50th anniversmy of the brand; it also saw a global relawlch with dynamic new packaging. The new modern pack design of bright cobalt blue helps to emphasize the power and effectiveness ofDisprin while the sword and circle have been retau1ed to reassure conswners of Disprin's n·usted heritage. This new design confmns that Disprin is a premium contemporary analgesic that can provide fast and effective pain relief for today 's consumer. The developments haven't stopped there. While the miginal brand variant is available in packs of24, 48 and 96 tablets each containing 300mg of soluble aspirin, Disprin has been extended to two other variants to meet Australian consumers' requirements. 'Disprin Extra Strength' contains 500 mg of soluble aspu·in for extra pau1 relief and is available from supennarkets and phatmacies. 'Disprin Direct' tablets are aspirin tablets that can be taken anywhere. They disperse on the tongue with a clean fresh taste, for fast relief of pain. With Disprin Direct there is no need for water, ideal for today's busy lifestyles and great for travel - Disprin Direct can be taken in the car, on the train, out shopping, or anywhere that water is not to hand. Disprin 's packaging is planned to be updated again in 2002, to maintain modernity and its appeal to a younger target audience and analgesic users. The recently approved use of low-dose aspirin for cardiovascular indications, and the mounting clinical evidence for its use u1 other 'anti-platelet' indications, has given aspirin a new lease oflife. It is now being hailed as a "wonder drug", a century after it was discovered! For a brand which is over 50 years old, Disprin certainly has a remarkably bright future! PROMOTION Disprin itself was first advertised to consumers in the 1950s and early print advertising strongly featured its medical heritage. Prominent in all print advertising was the doctor-endorsed slogan "Take an aspirin - I mean a Disprin"; as was the unique format of the product (soluble rather than solid); and its better tolerated fq.n1mlation. Pack claims centred on "pain relief with better gastric tolerance", and the fact that Disprin was "neutral, soluble aspirin". Television advertising was first developed in black & white in the UK in 1956, and featured quasimedical themes. The key product characteristic (solubility) was used to convey gentle, rapid, pain relief reinforced by the tag line "the sort doctors prefer". In Australia the solubility theme continued to be the major focus in advertising atld promotional campaigns during the 1970s and early 1980s. Disprin was positioned as the fast, safe, gentle solution for headaches, fever and cold/flu symptoms. Family endorsement also featured strongly, with phrases such as "the fatnily solution" and "tl1e all round helper" being inn·oduced for the first time. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, several different advertisu1g executions emerged in Disprin's key markets, again centering on solubility at1d speed of action as tl1e core message. In Australia "Disprin works" was used to reinforce the product's effectiveness. The latest catnpaign launched in 2001, brings in a new approach for Disprin, focussing on the Disprin Direct fommlation and positioned to provide portable pau1 relief for young, mobile on-the-move conswners. In a move away from the earlier strategic focus on soluble forms, which require dissolving u1 water to consume, this new campaign aims to widen the appeal of Disprin by increasing its appeal as a convenient, fast acting, pain relief solution. The primary mediwn of conm1unication for the brand has been television though print advertising and in-store displays, as evidenced with the new Disprin Direct campaign, have been key in building brand recall to the high level that it enjoys today. BRAND VALUES Reckitt Benckiser (formerly Reck:itt & Colmm1) take pride in the conn·ibution that their stable soluble aspirin preparations have made to the relief of pain - of all the ills to which humanity is subject, pain requu·es the most urgent n·eatrnent, and aspirin has been the most widely used for that purpose this century. Tune and time again people find themselves returning to Disptin for relief from cotmnon aches and pains - it seems over fifty years of pain relief can't be wrong! THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT DISPRIN 0 Aspi1in is the most used drug in ilie world with I 2 billion tablets consumed annually (as per Guinness Book of Records). 0 The brand name Disprin was chosen to link the active ingredient "aspirin" wiili the "dissolving" nature of the product. 0 When tested in equal doses, aspirin can be more effective and longer acting that1 paracetamol in mild to moderate pau1. 0 Soluble aspirin reaches maxin1um at1algesic levels up to 3 tin1es faster than solid paracetatnol tablets. 0 Aspuin can help to ease the aches and pains suffered by plants in the same way tl1at it helps people and anunals, according to researchers from Arizona State University, US and Institut de Biologie Moleculau·e des Plantes, ill Sn·asbourg, France. 35

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