NEW MEDICINE FOR AN AILING CATEGORY

The cough-and-cold category may have fallen ill this year due to a mild winter, but the debut of new over-the-counter children's products could help nurse it back to health.Children's Motrin, from McNeil Consumer Products, Fort Washington, Pa., was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for a prescription-to-OTC switch. Children's Motrin, pediatric ibuprofen, will be available in 2-ounce

The cough-and-cold category may have fallen ill this year due to a mild winter, but the debut of new over-the-counter children's products could help nurse it back to health.

Children's Motrin, from McNeil Consumer Products, Fort Washington, Pa., was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for a prescription-to-OTC switch. Children's Motrin, pediatric ibuprofen, will be available in 2-ounce and 4-ounce sizes. The introduction of Children's Motrin marks the first time Motrin has been available in any form to children as an OTC product. "[Children's Motrin] is the first in its category. We think it will be well known to parents who have had experience with the prescription product. There will be a large carryover of customers for the OTC version of Children's Motrin," said F. Robert Kniffen, spokesman for Johnson & Johnson/McNeil, New Brunswick, N.J. McNeil is not alone. On Aug. 1, Warner-Wellcome, a division of Warner-Lambert, Morris Plains, N.J., launched two new stockkeeping units of Children's Sudafed and one new SKU of Pediatric Sudafed as part of the growing trend for new children's cough-and-cold remedies. The three SKUs, all liquids, will be available to retailers this fall.

They include a grape-flavored, single-ingredient decongestant in a 4-ounce size; a three-ingredient cough-and-cold remedy in cherry-berry flavor, 4 ounces; and fruit-flavored decongestant drops, 0.05 ounces. All are sugar-free and alcohol-free, according to Beth Falk, product manager for new Sudafed products at Warner-Wellcome.

According to Nielsen North America, Schaumburg, Ill., Sudafed adult lines generated sales of $44 million in the year ended May 31, 1995. Warner-Wellcome expects this market to carry over into children's.

Also new from Warner-Wellcome is a chewable, grape-flavored Benadryl allergy formula. It is available in one SKU, a 24-tablet pack. The product has a patented flavor-masking technology that makes the product more palatable to children. Overall, Benadryl is the leading allergy product in sales, with $150 million in 1994, an increase of 9.5%, according to Nielsen.