Crookes Healthcare has applied to the Medicines Control Agency for a licence to market its ibuprofen-based painkiller Nurofen in newsagents and supermarkets.
The application comes three weeks after drug rival Galpharm International was awarded a licence to market the first over-the-counter ibuprofen-based analgesic, called Ibuprofen, outside pharmacies.
Galpharm sales and marketing director Tim Michael says the name of the active ingredient was used as the brand name to capitalise on market awareness of ibuprofen as an anti-inflammatory drug. “It is perceived as a stronger medicine,” he says.
Michael is working on a consumer ad campaign in women’s and mainstream press.
Crookes plans to fight the attack on its market with a licence to launch a 12-pack Nurofen version, also to be available outside pharmacies.
Crookes director of marketing Alan Ransome says: “It would be wrong to deny consumers the chance to buy the most widely trusted ibuprofen brand in a larger range of outlets, when less popular brands are available.”
Nurofen general sales trialists are expected to trade up to larger pack sizes and pharmacy-only Nurofen products.