Text message prompts for PediaMed acne treatment

Related tags Mobile phone

PediaMed has launched what it calls a Mobile Compliance Program -
8TDAZE, for its Tazorac acne treatment, aimed at motivating
teenagers to use the product regularly to ensure best results using
a proven method of communication, reports Simon Pitman.

The launch of the campaign coincides with the publication of a global survey from the Wireless World Forum (W2F) that concludes SMS text messages are still the most effective means of communication for this age group.

The 8TDAZE program - named using the same slang that has come to popularly characterize text messaging - aims to remind often forgetful teenagers that they need to apply the treatment in order to optimize the product's efficacy.

The user has to do is subscribe to the service through a dedicated number contained on the product's packaging. Once subscribed the service sends out text messages from a 'Buddy', which prompts them with gentle reminders. The service also provides offers and a selection of wallpapers and ringtones throughout the treatment period.

Tazorac is a topical retinoid indicated for the treatment of acne vulgaris, and comprises 0.1 per cent Tazarotene in the formula. It is an aqueous gel combining the inactives Ascorbic acid, butylated hydroxyanisole, butylated hydroxytoluene and carbomer 934P in the formula and has been available on the North American market for some time now.

"Tazorac is an effective medication that has been proven to have a fast response rate with most patients noticing a difference in as little as four weeks. But like all acne treatments, it requires compliance for best results,"​ said Cameron Durrant, MD, MBA, president, PediaMed. "With forty per cent of 12 to 14 year olds and 75 percent of all 15 to 17 year olds owning mobile phones, we are optimistic that this new medium will assist pediatricians and their patients in reaching optimal results."

But the company is also tapping into a means of communications that has defied communications experts, many of whom thought that text messaging would soon be usurped by newer technologies.

The W2F report concludes that teenagers are still using text messages as their preferred means of contact for gossip, passing e-notes and forging friendship. For many, this means communicating without embarrassment and cheaply. Important criteria for an age group that often has restricted spending power and problems with direct communication.

"Young people increasingly see the mobile phone as a tool to cement peer group bonds,"​ the report says. "Teens are particularly dependent on their mobile phone as a tool for social interaction. More than three quarters of those surveyed thought their social life would suffer as a result of not having their mobile phone ... It acts as a badge of identity, a symbol of inclusion within the group, both in the type of mobile phone owned and the way it is used."

PediaMed's​ campaign is interesting because it is one of the first to target a cosmetic treatment specifically for teenagers in this way, but with spending power in this age group on the rise and interest in personal appearance also becoming more important, text message campaigns could become a tried and tested route.

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