Dermatology Case Study: A legacy brand turned flagship

Australian women (and men aged40 and over) spend a small fortune on over-the-counter anti-aging products.Many are aware of the ingredient, retinol, a form of Vitamin A, due to the beauty industry aggressively marketing this as an anti-aging ingredient.  

This growing awareness of retinoids, which reduce the signs of photoaging and sun damage, has meant an explosion in its popularity and the number of products containing it.

But at best, cosmetic creams and lotions containing this ingredient can only be very good moisturisers or night creams. Otherwise, these products would need TGA approval, if the retinol actually had any real effect on the skin.

People have also turned to invasive cosmetic procedures such as laser resurfacing, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, botox, dermal fillers and even surgery to try and “turn back the clock” on their aging skin and appearance.


Untapped, effective prescription treatment

It’s not very well known by consumers that there is actually a prescription-grade version of this ingredient, retinoid. A cream containing this has been available in Australia via doctor’s prescription for more than 20 years.

Although some people with chronic acne may have been aware of prescription retinoid creams as recommended by their doctor or dermatologist, for the most part, the general population is unaware of the repairing properties or the many other benefits of this cream on sun-damaged skin.

As digital healthcare marketers know, it is prohibited to market prescription medicines by name in Australia. Also, this little-known prescription cream has until recently not had any patient education efforts or budgets; its only promotion being word-of-mouth or doctor’s recommendation.

And consumers were not speaking to their GP or dermatologist about their concerns until an acute condition arose, as they were not aware of the potential preventative treatment available via doctor’s prescription. This is despite the fact that moderate to severe photoaging impacts 72 per cent of men and 47 per cent of women under 30 in Australia.

The cream is used to treat several conditions caused by sun damage, or photoaging, such as:

  • Finelines and wrinkles
  • Sunspots, pigmentation
  • Loss of skin elasticity
  • Rough, dry skin
  • Broken capillaries

 Compared to the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on beauty products by people wanting to improve their appearance and look younger – especially when their sun-damaged skin causes them to look older than their age – this cream is also relatively inexpensive.


Retinoids work by increasing cell turnover and promoting the shedding of old, damaged skin cells. This process can help to prevent the accumulation of DNA damage in skin cells. Additionally, retinoids have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and immune-regulating effects.


Case study

The client, iNova, wanted to launch its first ever consumer photoaging awareness campaign for its cream,Retrieve. Retrieve is one of the longest established prescription Vitamin A products in Australia.

RoseRx was tasked with connecting the client’s marketing efforts with prescription sales. Our solution delivered high-intent and motivated patients, with tracking at every step of the patient journey.

In partnership with digital health care marketing agency, Paper + Spark, an innovative campaign was created, focusing on the cream’s active ingredient, Tretinoin. This was positioned as a‘secret weapon’ in the fight against photoaging and sun damage through a direct-to-consumer digital campaign.

The aim was to improve patient outcomes by encouraging them to useRetrieve earlier and more consistently to fight sun damage. TGA compliance added the further challenge of being unable to mention the medication by name.


The strategy

  • Enhance sales efforts by delivering high intent patients to GPs
  • Empower patients to have informed discussions with their provider on solutions

Although Australians as a rule are very aware of the damage caused by sun exposure, the suntanned bronzed look is still highly prized, particularly among Gen Z and Gen Y.  

Research was conducted among GPs, cosmetic physicians and wider skincare specialists, as well as audience focus groups of male and female Australians in their mid-20s through to their 40s.

This research concluded that consumers were largely unaware of the availability of prescription Vitamin A medication and its efficacy in combating photoaging and photo-damage. They were more prone to reaching for the beauty shelf or resorting to laser treatments or injectables.


Key indications

Sun damage (or photoaging) presents with fine lines, wrinkles, sunspots, hyper pigmentation, loss of skin elasticity, rough dry skin and broken capillaries.

The target market has already been spending money on OTC products that do not work or invasive and expensive procedures such as Botox and laser skin resurfacing. 

Many cosmetic companies tout retinol as a ‘wonder’ ingredient in marketing their anti-aging skincare products, which has created awareness with many consumers, despite little results. This product offers the prescription grade version with proven results.


The results

  • 61% revenue growth
  • 122k care sessions
  • 6.6k referred HCP consultations
  • $17 Cost per Action
  • 86% of consumers who initiated HCP consultation have photoaging concerns
  • 85.6% of these patients went on to purchase retinoid-based products

The process

By finding the right patients and connecting them with our empathetic care platform and compassionate care coordinators, we were able to nurture them through to a doctor or dermatologist, gaining

  • Patient insights
  • Digital advertising
  • Smart screener
  • Rapid care outreach
  • GP scheduling

Client testimonial

“We’ve experienced rapid growth withRoseRx. RoseRx has improved our digital and marketing capabilities and helped us provide information that’s timely, interesting, targeted and genuinely helpful for our target patients,” said Michael Bramble, Head of Marketing andSales at iNova.
“We have redistributed our budgets to promising projects and we look forward to working with them for the oncoming year,”

Bramble adds


We were able to help patients understand their dermatology problem and help them navigate their journey to treatment.


We achieved these goals due to:

  • Integrated Telehealth partnership to allow patients to choose to get treatment from the comfort of their home
  • Offering real time data tracking so that the team can optimise creative, messaging and friction in the process
  • Empathetic, personalised messaging
  • Omni-channel communications

This allowed us to develop a strategy to speak to consumers about the efficacy and availability of prescription Tretinoin and give them the confidence that a slower, prescriptive approach will provide better results than cosmetic 'quick fixes' and surgeries. It also opened up the possibility to take on the higher-end, luxury retinoid products found on the beauty counter with a more rigorous, evidence-based message.

End-to-end personalised healthcare journeys, 
ready to be deployed

End-to-end personalised healthcare journeys, 
ready to be deployed