Botox Case

Topics: Botulinum toxin Pages: 6 (1961 words) Published: November 9, 2010
|Botox: Almost Trouble-Free New Faces | |In the movie virgule Face/Off, John Travolta got a new look by exchanging faces with Nicholas Cage. Unfortunately, he got a lot of trouble along with it.| |Today, John could receive a much less troublesome new look by using Botox, from Allergan Laboratories in Irvine, California. Not only has Botox smoothed | |the visage of aging actors, it has also come to the rescue of countless comedians and late-night talk-show hosts. Beyond perhaps doing wonders for their | |appearance, it’s also given them a slew of new jokes as the “next Viagra.” | |In 1990, Allergan was just a small specialty pharmaceutical firm selling little-known eye and skin drugs and over-the-counter contact lens cleaners. The | |introduction of Botox wasn’t such a big deal initially. After all, typical of Allergan specialty products, it was just another specialty drug aimed at a | |small market (treatment of cross-eye) supported by little marketing effort. | |That was before doctors discovered that injecting Botox around eyes not only eliminated ocular problems, it erased frown lines as well. Once that | |happened, the buzz was on between doctors and patients. Before long, doctors in most major U.S. cities were giving patients off-label (not approved by | |the FDA for this use) Botox injections. Even though Allergan could not openly market the product for cosmetic purposes, by 2001 sales of Botox rocketed | |to $310 million and were growing between 25 percent and 35 percent per year. That translates into over 1.6 million Botox cosmetic procedures performed on| |roughly 850,000 patients. FDA approval, granted in April 2002, only accelerated this sales bonanza. | |The good news for Allergan does not end with wiping out frown lines. Botox also effectively treats migraine headaches, chronic neck and back pain, | |excessive sweating, and possibly spastic disorders. With all those target markets, Botox could become a blockbuster drug—with more than a billion dollars| |in sales—bringing Allergan out of the backwaters of the pharmaceutical business. | |Botox Cosmetic is botulinum toxin A, a heavily diluted version of the feared botulinum toxin found in spoiled canned soups and vegetables. It contains | |only 20 units of the toxin compared to the thousands of units found in spoiled food, but it works in the same way—by paralyzing facial muscles to the | |point where they can no longer contract. | |Frown lines are definitely a sign of age, use, and wear. They occur when facial muscles contract, drawing the skin up. When the muscles relax, the lines | |disappear. As we get older, it becomes more difficult to relax, so that we seldom fully relax our facial muscles. | |Although eliminating frown lines sounds great, there is at least one small problem. Totally relaxed forehead muscles leave you incapable of rendering any| |expression at or above the eyes. For the celebrities and stars that were among the first to use Botox, this resulted in “performance” problems. One TV | |star commented that when the director kept telling her to show anger, she replied, “I am, I am.” Unfortunately, nothing was moving on the upper half of | |her face. As a consequence, she stopped using Botox except for Emmy awards night! | |For others, however, the loss of expression might be a positive. Business people seeking a...
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