The National Advertising Review Board (NARB) is recommending that Bayer Healthcare LLC stop claiming that “nothing works faster than Claritin-D.”

The 5-member NARB panel also stated that Bayer should qualify its claim that Claritin works on allergies in 30 minutes.  

One of Bayer’s competitors, Chattem Inc, initially challenged Bayer for its advertising of Claritin before the National Advertising Division, according to the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council. (Chattem is the maker of Nasacort and Allegra.)

After a review of the science behind the claims, the National Advertising Division determined that Bayer did not provide a reasonable basis for the claim, “Nothing works faster than Claritin-D.”

However, Bayer was able to support its claim that Claritin-D starts to work within 30 minutes, though Chattem is appealing that finding to NARB.  

Bayer submitted a study that examined 593 subjects in 5 different outdoor parks. One group of participants received Claritin-D, another group was given another drug that is no longer available in the country, and the last group received a placebo. Allergy symptoms were measured at 15-minute intervals for 2 hours.

While the panel found that the study was well-conducted, NARB said the study did not support the unqualified claim, “starts to work on allergies in 30 minutes.”

The panel suggested Bayer could instead use the claim that Claritin works on allergies “in as little as” 30 minutes, instead.

Bayer also submitted tests involving competing products to support the “nothing works faster” claim, but the panel determined that Bayer would need to test at least 85% of the products in the marketplace. Ultimately, the panel did not believe that the tests supported the advertising claim.

Bayer maintained that there were some issues with some the panel’s findings, but the company said it “supports the self-regulatory process and is therefore willing to comply with the NARB decision on this point.”