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Allergan Threatens Physicians to Force Use of Botox Cosmetic TM

Posted Jun 14 2005 12:00am

From my press release going out in the next few days.


San Clemente, CA (PRWEB) Allergan, makers of Botox Cosmetic TM, have started a cutthroat campaign in which their representatives leave threatening messages and their attorneys imply legal action.

Case and Point: “I have offered Botox TM since 1998 before it was FDA-approved for facial wrinkles and re-named Botox Cosmetic TM,” Dr John Di Saia, an Orange County California Plastic surgeon explains. “After FDA-approval and the advertising blitz, the price has increased and competing products have entered the marketplace. I offer Myobloc TM as I once offered Botox TM as an “off-label” product. The price differential and similar results make my patients happy. My orders of Botox Cosmetic TM have fallen off substantially as a result.” Botox TM was FDA-approved a few years ago for use in facial wrinkles. Prior to this, it was used off-label for this purpose for years in millions of applications.

Dr Di Saia’s web site constitutes his only advertising. It states clearly that his practice offers Botox Cosmetic TM as well as Myobloc TM. The price differential and Myobloc’s better stability decreases the price to keep it on hand for patient use. “We offer Myobloc TM at a significantly lower price.” Patients are informed and then they choose. “No one is ever treated with a mystery product. There is no false advertising here.” Allergan must not be happy with the patient’s choice. “If patients wanted Botox Cosmetic TM enough, we would obtain it for them. They just don’t seem to care.”

Allergan’s local representative Lori Lorge started hostilities a few weeks ago at which time she left a business card underneath the Dr Di Saia’s office door stating: “You cannot advertise Botox unless you order and use Botox.” The doctor wrote a letter to the company. He advertises only on his web site and for both products. A reply from Assistant General Counsel Steven A. Johnson threatened a referral to State and Federal enforcement authorities claiming false advertising.

Botox Cosmetic TM is a Botulinium toxin A product made by Allergan pharmaceuticals. Myobloc TM is a Botulinium toxin B product originally made by Elan pharmaceuticals. The product has been recently sold to Solstice Neurosciences. The Botulinium toxin protein has several subunits. We may be seeing more Botulinium toxin options in the marketplace as these are evaluated for clinical use.

“These tactics are not the way to get Botox Cosmetic TM into more frequent use in my practice or that of any other plastic surgeon. Treating physicians like criminals is not good business. Maybe Allergan is losing market share. They are certainly losing mine,” Dr Di Saia commented.

About John Di Saia MD

John Di Saia MD is a board certified plastic surgeon practicing in San Clemente, Ca. He is very active online as the author of Plastic Surgery Interactive and this blog Truth in Cosmetic Surgery. He also contributes to several online plastic surgery forums and writes for his local newspaper “The Sun Post News.”

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