Expert's Opinion

Innovation, Exclusivity and Getting a Customer to Return

By Philippe Burnham, Director of Marketing - Topical Cosmeceuticals at Valeant Aesthetics, A Division of Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America LLC | October 31, 2012

What more could a marketer want? Burnham of Valeant tells us how.

In today’s challenging retail environment, manufacturers must now address the critical, unmet needs that cosmetic dermatology and plastic surgery practices face, especially those regarding clinically-relevant innovation, physician exclusivity and attracting and keeping loyal customers.

There has been relatively little clinically relevant innovation seen in physician-dispensed cosmetic topical products, resulting in an overall sense of complacency amongst practitioners and patients alike. The industry has seen very few new ingredients. In addition, the safety and cosmetic efficacy of new ingredients as well as their formulations are rarely demonstrated in robust clinical trials nor are these trials typically published, especially in peer-reviewed journals.Despite a number of old ingredients recast as “ingredients du jour,” there haven’t been any breakthrough ingredient delivery systems beyond conventional liposomes which might benefit these compounds. Penetration of most ingredients through the stratum corneum is uncertain.
Pro+Therapy MD® (PTMD), a line of physician-exclusive cosmetic topical products, provides new technologies to address unmet needs that practices face, especially those regarding relevant innovation and physician exclusivity. PTMD products have a number product performance innovations as well as patient engagement technologies to help support compliance.Concerning performance, in order to optimize the delivery of the clinically proven, plant-derived anti-aging growth factors Kinetin and Zeatin, Valeant secured an exclusive novel liposome which encapsulates 85 to 90 percent of ingredients. Conventional liposomes encapsulate only 50 percent of ingredients. This unique technology is proven to deliver the growth factors in unprecedented levels through the stratum corneum, releasing them over 12 hours.

Other technologies engage patients in order to help support compliance. For example, an eye cream with immediate visible lifting and firming effect (Pro+Therapy MD® Ultimate Lift + Correcting Eye Cream) encourage a patient’s daily use – which may lead to additional benefits long-term. The development of the first skin polishing exfoliator (Pro+Therapy MD® Gentle Skin Polishing Exfoliator) which turns “off” after 3 to 5 minutes, provides a satisfying experience while helping to minimize the risk of trauma to the stratum corneum by exuberant users who want to “scrub wrinkles away.”

Market experience has supported the theory that immediate, mid-term and long-term benefits can affect compliance and help optimize cosmetic outcome. Furthermore, cosmetic topical products that are available exclusively through a physician help reinforce patient loyalty. The lack of physician exclusivity regarding dispensed cosmetic topical products has diminished their strategic and clinical value.

With products widely available in non-medical spas and on the internet at heavily discounted prices, fewer patients will re-purchase what are essentially perceived as commodities.Patients who make the effort to see physicians and aestheticians expect exclusive products and an elevated level of service, counseling and care.

About the author
Burnham joined Valeant in 2011 to evolve Kinerase Pro+Therapy into Pro+Therapy MD®. His broad experience includes many disease areas, medical and consumer promotion, and business development.
With more than 28 years of experience in healthcare marketing, Burnham launched Rogaine (minoxidil) female indication and headed the brand’s consumer direct response and professional advertising efforts.At Hoffmann-La Roche pharmaceuticals, he developed over 25 clinically proven cosmaceutical products and filed several patents on skin penetration delivery technologies.

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