In 1988, Syntex formed a joint venture with Procter & Gamble to market naproxen sodium, a prescription pain reliever sold by Syntex under the names Anaprox and Naprosyn, in the over-the-counter (OTC) internal analgesics market. The product received DFA approval for sale over the counter in January 1994, and was to be launched in June 1994 under the brand name Aleve. This was not Procter & Gamble’s first foray into marketing OTC pain relievers. In the 1980s, P&G attempted to launch Encaprin, a coated aspirin product. Encaprin was unable to compete with the ibuprofen products entering the market, and the product was eventually pulled. Syntex and P&G know that they were entering into a highly competitive, if not voracious, market. How could they build on the success of the prescription product? How could they introduce a new pain reliever in an overcrowded OTC market? How much would they have to spend to gain significant market share?
Darden Business Publishing – University of Virginia