Galderma makes acne rewarding

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Nestle-L'Oreal joint venture Galderma is using rewards to get teens to stick with their acne treatment regimen through its EpiduoTap app created by HealthPrize.

The app rewards teens for activities like filling prescriptions on time, reporting daily use and taking quizzes, and includes a “fortune cookie”—a daily tip about acne. Prizes include iTunes and gift cards. HealthPrize CEO Thomas Kottler said low-denomination gift cards are incentives because “people want something in the near-term.” Kottler said dangling a major prize isn't as valuable because “they actually don't save enough points because they want something now.”

The marketers also want something in return: patients with prescriptions for the acne medication, no exceptions. The promotion focuses on teens, even though adults get acne and the site has a section labeled "young adults."

Kottler said that acne medication adherence runs into the same stumbling blocks as adherence resistance for any sort of medication, even when patients approach doctors for the very medication they aren't taking. Adding to the  drop-off rate, the medication appears to make the condition go away, even if it hasn't been resolved.

Although the rewards program officially kicked off March 11, Kottler said the company did a test run in June, promoting it to a limited number of dermatologists to assess “how to educate the sales rep and to get the sales rep to educate physicians about the program.” He estimates that around 800 healthcare professionals were part of the summer rollout, and response was positive: doctors liked the program and “the brand saw significant new script lift.” Kottler noted that the immediate impact is just one part of the program, and the long-term benefit is that doctors tend to prefer drugs with adherence programs, “because they really do want their patients to take the medications they prescribe.”

Neither Nestle nor L'Oreal break out Galderma sales by product, but both noted in their respective annual reports that the joint venture provides a financial boost. L'Oreal said sales for the derm-centric division grew 5.9% in 2012, year-over-year, and Nestle said the interest filed 57 patents last year. The unit's product line includes OTC products such as Cetaphil and prescription drugs Epiduo and the roseacea drug Oracea, among others.
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