Allergan's India plans far from cosmetics
Botox has been almost synonymous worldwide with banishing wrinkles. But
Botox-maker Allergan's plans for India are far from cosmetics.
is "critical" to Allergan's plans of making Botox a $2-billion product
in few years, points out Tom Albright, Allergan's Vice-President
(Global Marketing). Botox clocked revenues of $831 million in 2005, he
told Business Line.
Although there are
about 20 unique indications where Botox is used, besides its benefits
across therapeutic areas, Botox's cosmetic application had caught
popular fancy, he admitted. About 45 per cent of Botox's global sales
come from cosmetic applications.
Botox is the most popular
non-surgical cosmetic procedure in the US and over 3.3 million people
took Botox for cosmetic reasons in 2005.
To advertise in India
about its prospects in India, Allergan is set to advertise the use of
Botox to increase the awareness on the product locally, he said. Botox
can be advertised because of its cosmetic application, he clarified and
added that the ad-spend would be "significant". Unwilling to divulge
financials, Albright said that Botox was among the 20 top pharma
products advertised in the United States.
Allergan is at present
evaluating the opportunity in India to increase its clinical research,
he said. Botox is not on the radar for clinical trials in new
applications, he said. However, he indicated that clinical trials on
alternate indications of Botox in India "could be an option" at a later
date. Trials are currently being done in other markets in segments such
as headache and other urological conditions, for instance, he said.
250 doctors are trained in using Botox and the estimated cost of Botox
treatment in one indication is about Rs 8,000, he said. In the US, it
could be about $450.
In India, Allergan has clocked revenues of an
estimated Rs 100 crore. It has also got regulatory approval from the
Drug Controller-General of India for Botox in applications such as
Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), Glabellar lines (frown lines) and
Hyperkinetic facial lines (facial lines).
What is Botox
the trade name of Botulinum Toxin Type A, manufactured and marketed by
Allergan Inc. It works as a neuro-muscular injection and is used for
cosmetic purposes such as erasing wrinkles or crow's feet, where skin
wrinkles-up near the eyes. It is also used in conditions like cerebral
palsy, where it relaxes the injected muscle and reduces/eliminates
muscle spasms thus relieving spasticity. Allergan received US
regulatory approvals in 1989 and has been marketing internationally