This Isn’t Your Mother’s Bayer Aspirin

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The name Bayer has become highly recognizable, if you’re in the market for aspirin — and you’re about 60. That’s because the company has been so successful at marketing the drug for the prevention of heart attack and stroke in older adults, since 1988. But now Bayer wants to remind younger customers that aspirin had an original purpose: pain relief.

“People have kind of forgotten about the fact that pain is our heritage,” Barton J. Warner, head of U.S. marketing for Bayer Consumer Care, told the AP.

On Monday, Bayer released a new fast-acting formulation of aspirin, which was developed over five years in response to consumers’ top complaint that the drug doesn’t work fast enough. Using “pro-release technology,” the company says, the reformulated pill uses tiny micro-particles of aspirin that are about 90% smaller than those in the standard formula and dissolve and enter the bloodstream more quickly.

The AP reports:

Bayer Advanced Aspirin was tested in multiple sites on dental patients who’d just had wisdom teeth extracted.

Dr. Eric R. First, head of new product development for Bayer AG’s consumer care unit, said 500 milligrams of the new aspirin started working in 16 minutes and brought “meaningful pain relief” in 49 [minutes], on average, compared with 100 minutes for the same dosage of regular Bayer.

The research has not been published, however, and the fast-acting medication hasn’t been tested against other painkillers.

Still, Bayer is hoping its new aspirin, which comes packaged in a bright purple box, will expand the company’s 14.6% market share by attracting a new base of younger customers, in their 40s — perhaps those who may not yet need a baby aspirin to ward off stroke or heart attack, but for whom the first aches and pains of middle age may need tending.