Our Products Got Recalled During Our Launch Week — Here’s What We Did
Dang here, the General Manager of Evens, the newest brand from Thirty Madison. Like our first two brands — Keeps and Cove — Evens is making chronic care treatment more affordable and more accessible, in this case for acid reflux sufferers.
As you may have heard, the FDA issued a notice that one of our four over-the-counter medications for Evens might contain a carcinogen. Yep, I’m talking about Zantac (branded ranitidine).
Just five days into our launch and we were suddenly faced with a big decision. On one hand, Zantac hadn’t issued a statement, nor had any of the major retailers. On the other hand, the value that sets us apart from big pharma and the major retailers is that we put customers over profit.
It was one of those moments as a business when you need to make decisions based on imperfect information. We knew we wanted to act quickly, and in our minds, the solution was clear — we had to pull it from the shelves until we felt 100% confident that it was safe for our customers to take.
The good news is that because we’re still a small company, we’re able to move quickly. Within the day, we not only removed it from our offering, but we also removed it from our site, our marketing materials, and our social media platforms.
And the even better news is that this didn’t mean we had to shut down 5 days in. Evens is unique as an acid reflux company because our goal is to ensure that we’re able to safely provide our customers with a solution that works best for them, regardless of the treatment. We’re able to do this because we offer PPIs and antacids, in addition to the ranitidine.
Did I think I was going to have to test our “customers first” value five days into our launch? Nope. But I’m happy that we were able to stand by it from the very beginning.
Now, a few weeks later, CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid have followed suit — removing Zantac and ranitidine from their shelves. Seeing that not only reinforced that we’d made the right call, but that our singular focus on treating acid reflux makes it easy for us to know what the right call is when there’s limited information.
Really, the only question we have to ask ourselves in these moments is “Does this decision help customers treat their condition?” If the answer’s not a resounding yes, then we know we have some work to do.