Medicis Aesthetics is the US distributor of Ipsen’s brand of botulinum toxin, Dysport® – which was launched in the USA in April 2009 – and is the 1st U.S. competitor to Allergan’s Botox® franchise.
Dysport (which has been available in the UK since 1991, and was then manufactured by Speywood Pharmaceuticals) enjoys extensive use in Europe and has recently been launched under a different brand name – Azzalure® – following its approval for cosmetic use.
In a bid to win market share Medicis have recently launched a new direct to consumer campaign.
Potential customers are being asked to sign up on www.dysportusa.com in order to participate in the “Dysport Challenge” which runs for 2 months from the beginning of March.
This promotion is currently only being run in the U.S.A. (Note: this form of direct promotion to consumers of prescription medicines is not legal in the UK). Consumers are being asked to sign up for the Dysport Challenge 14 days after their 1st treatment, download a Dysport Coupon Rebate Form, and mail the rebate form and itemised receipt from the clinic or practitioner who treated them in order to get a $75 Rebate Cheque - whether or not they have a second treatment.
3 months following the 1st treatment they will be invited back to indicate whether they “Loved it” or not in order to potentially get another voucher worth $75 off their second treatment.
The worldwide market for botulinum toxin is worth hundreds of millions of pounds and the so called “Botox Wars” between the two biggest brands of botulinum toxin is being taken directly to the U.S. consumer with this tactic.
Medicis will be hoping that existing Botox users will ask their practitioner to try Dysport in order to get a discount, in addition they’ll hope to get feedback – i.e. “x% of Dysport users Loved their first treatment” to use in further marketing - both direct to clinics and consumers.
It will be interesting to see how the market develops as new licensed brands enter the fray over the next couple of years.