Galderma has announced its second collaboration with a noncompeting aesthetic brand in less than six months. In the latest move to garner consumer and surgeon loyalty, Galderma, which is focused on skin aesthetics, announced a nationwide collaboration with Mentor Worldwide, a breast aesthetics and reconstruction company.
Known for such popular brands as Restylane, Dysport (abobotulinumtoxinA) and Sculptra Aesthetic, Galderma announced last December that it would collaborate with CoolSculpting’s parent company ZELTIQ.
While Galderma announced the news of the collaboration in April, it had not announced how exactly physicians and patients would benefit.
This newest collaboration will include Galderma's brands Restylane family of fillers, Dysport (abobotulinumtoxinA) 300 units for Injection and Sculptra Aesthetic, as well as Mentor’s MemoryShape and MemoryGel breast implants, for the U.S. aesthetics (non-reimbursed) market, according to a Galderma press release. Research suggests there is a significant overlap in patients who opt for fillers, as well as breast augmentation surgery. Data show up to 33% of women who had injectable treatments also had breast augmentation, according to global luxury goods industry advisor Bain and Company 2014 data.
The collaboration’s aim is to identify ways to leverage market growth strategies. The collaboration will tie in with Galderma’s ASPIRE rewards loyalty program, which encourages consumers to sign up for free to get rewards, bonuses and discounts on Galderma brands.
Plastic Surgeons Weigh In
New York plastic surgeon Melissa A. Doft, M.D., says while she does not know the program’s specifics, Allergan ran a similar special a few years ago, where for each set of implants, patients were given complimentary Botox.
“My patients were always excited to receive the free Botox. It was a little bonus after surgery. Many had never tried it before and always wanted to. This was a chance for them to try it with no financial risk,” Dr. Doft says.
Loyalty programs make sense in the cosmetic surgery space, according to Dr. Doft, clinical assistant professor of surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, N.Y.
“In this competitive marketplace and with implant and injectable prices continuing to increase, I think it is always worth looking into these partnerships,” she says. “But would it lead me to change brands? No. My patients are coming to my practice to receive the best medical care that I can offer. If I think that one product is better than another product, I never hesitate to use the best product, even if it is a more expensive product.”
Dr. Doft, who says she thinks Mentor and Galderma make excellent products, says such a program may affect plastic surgeons by helping them to convert a one-time surgical patient into a returning injectable patient.
“There are many patients who still do not realize that plastic surgeons also inject neurotoxins and fillers,” Dr. Doft says. “This collaboration is an easy way to explain to a patient the broader spectrum of your practice.”
Plastic and reconstructive surgeon Mathew A. Plant, M.D., who practices in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, says there are several benefits of industry loyalty programs, for the companies, physicians and patients.
“While they have not announced the specifics yet, I would imagine there will be a program similar to the competitors’ that allows patients who have had Mentor implants to receive some sort of discounted or complimentary treatment with a Galderma product (most likely Dysport), which would then get people into the physician’s roster of injectable patients,” Dr. Plant says. “There would also, hopefully, be some special pricing for physicians who order product from both, which would help the bottom line and perhaps allow physicians to pass savings onto the patient, driving up overall demand for services.”
The Galderma-Mentor collaboration, he says, will likely create healthy competition in the marketplace.
“Up to this point, there was only one company [Allergan] offering both injectables and implants, so they didn’t need to offer more than a few percent off as incentive to use both of their product lines. Now that there is another implant-injectable partnership competing with them it is likely to cause all of the companies in the market to provide more aggressive discounts and better incentives to patients and physicians to maintain or gain market share,” Dr. Plant says. “Another benefit that we have already started to see (up in Toronto at least) are new educational events sponsored by this new partnership, and any opportunity to learn is a benefit to any physician and their patients.”
Dr. Plant says he thinks such programs can cause physicians to switch brands.
“Absolutely, in cases where there are very similar offerings from both companies pricing can at least drive a physician to look at what Galderma-Mentor have to offer. As long as the new product is as-good-as or better than what the surgeon is currently using they may very well switch brands,” he says.
Dr. Doft reports no relevant disclosures.
Dr. Plant sat on the Toronto advisory board for Galderma’s release of Emervel Lips.