Merck ($MRK) removes 'fast-acting relief' from allergy ads

After competitor complaints and U.K. regulatory action, Merck ($MRK) will remove its "fast-acting relief" claims from its Clarityn--sold in the U.S. as Claritin--allergy pills. Johnson & Johnson complained to the U.K. Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency about Merck's claims that its pill provided fast-acting relief from hay fever symptoms, saying there wasn't enough evidence to back the statement. In November, the agency sided with J&J, saying the fast-acting moniker should only be used when relief occurs within 30 minutes, which Merck could not definitively prove.

The MHRA also said that any product using Clarityn's active ingredient, loratadine, should remove similar claims.

- read the Dow Jones piece