RX RESPONSE

While PreTect and OneSpot may hold out hope for more inventory turnover on retailers' pet-supply shelves, the pharmaceutical companies that distribute the prescription flea and tick remedies to veterinarians appear unconcerned about any loss of market share.t] look kind of similar to what we have, but they're still old chemistry" that relies on Permethrin, Payne said, an ingredient he claims pests

While PreTect and OneSpot may hold out hope for more inventory turnover on retailers' pet-supply shelves, the pharmaceutical companies that distribute the prescription flea and tick remedies to veterinarians appear unconcerned about any loss of market share.

t] look kind of similar to what we have, but they're still old chemistry" that relies on Permethrin, Payne said, an ingredient he claims pests have built up a resistance to.

He predicts consumers will soon be turned off to the new products. "Consumers go into a supermarket or mass merchandiser, buy a flea and tick product, have a problem because the product doesn't work well, then have to go back to buy something else," Payne said. "They end up spending more money than they would have at the vet's."

Sergeant's PreTect Flea and Tick Control was the first over-the-counter product combining insect-growth regulators, which kill flea eggs, and adulticide, which knocks off mature pests. Sold in two versions -- one for dogs weighing more than 33 pounds and one for those weighing less -- PreTect packages include two 1.5-ml tubes, each good for a single application lasting about four weeks.

Currently, PreTect is available only for dogs, but Sergeant's expects to roll out a version for cats later in the spring. Hartz's OneSpot also comes in two strengths, according to a dog's weight. But OneSpot packs hold three tubes, each containing enough for a one-month dose. Like Sergeant's, Hartz plans to unveil a product for cats soon.

PreTect and OneSpot both try to distinguish themselves from their prescription competition by stressing that they kill flea eggs in addition to adult fleas and ticks.