Off-Label Botox Marketing Gets $600 Million Fine

Botox manufacturer Allergan gets $600 million fineAllergan has been slapped with a $600M fine for illegally marketing Botox for off-label use.

After a years-long investigation, the company pled guilty to one misdemeanor charge of “misbranding.”

Allergan had marketed Botox to physicians for treating migraine and headache pain. In addition to advertising the drug’s off-label uses, the company allegedly also instructed doctors on how to “miscode” Botox insurance claims.

Though Botox is commonly used to treat a variety of facial wrinkles, it is only approved to treat the vertical lines (shaped like the number 11) between the brows. It has also been approved for treatment of spasms, eye muscle problems, and excessive underarm perspiration.

Botox is widely used for off-label treatments, including TMJ treatment, facial cosmetics, cerebral palsy treatment, and headaches. However, the manufacturer is not supposed to market the drug for off-label uses.

But Allergan has never been shy when it comes to marketing. In fact, the company filed a lawsuit last year arguing that the FDA should not be able to limit the manufacturer’s marketing and communications with physicians.

“In the lawsuit, Allergan contends that the Government’s legal position that it is a crime for a pharmaceutical company to proactively communicate truthful information to physicians about off-label uses of its products violates the First Amendment and is inconsistent with the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act.”

Allergan Files Federal Lawsuit to Allow It to Share Relevant Information with the Medical Community on the Safe Use of BOTOX® for Common Therapeutic Off-Label Treatments

As part of this settlement, Allergan will drop that lawsuit.

The company has also been aggressively marketing Latisse, a new prescription medication that grows eyelashes. Ads feature celebrity users Brooke Shields and Claire Danes, showing off their longer lashes.

Of course, the warning included in their advertisements is enough to give the cosmetically-minded pause:

“LATISSE® may cause darkening of the eyelid skin which may be reversible. LATISSE® may also cause increased brown pigmentation of the colored part of the eye which is likely to be permanent.”

Read more: Botox maker to pay $600M to resolve investigation

Botox From The Dentist: Good Idea Or Not? (Video)

Dental practice marketing with internet videoBotox is used in dentistry to treat TMJ (aka TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder).

However, some dentists use it for cosmetic purposes. Botox injections are big business as a popular wrinkle removal treatment for people looking to combat the signs of aging.

We wanted to know what  doctors think about this trend, so we conducted a survey asking if dentists should provide Botox.

Jim Du Molin and Julie Frey report on dentists’ opinions of  the role of Botox in dental practices.

Of the dentists in this survey, one in four thinks this is not an appropriate role for dentists. Another 7% feel it should be done for therapeutic reasons only.

“Botox for TMD can be therapeutic. I am against dentists offering it for cosmetic purposes,” said a Minnesota dentist.

“I see it as a device to increase income rather than an admirable service,” said a Pennsylvania dentist.

However, 70% of our survey respondents see no problem with dentists offering Botox treatments and dermal fillers like Restylane.

“I have been teaching and doing this for over 7 years. Where else can one earn about $500 profit in under 5 minutes? Cosmetics pays,” said a New Jersey dentist.

“I don’t provide it in my office, but I don’t have a problem with a properly trained dentist providing the service. Heck, most dentists are better trained and have more knowledge about head and neck anatomy than most general physicians or staff at beauty salons providing Botox and other dermal fillers!” said an Ohio prosthodontist.

“I find Botox good for elderly patients who have a problem with drooling at night due to loss of muscle tone,” shared a Florida dentist. “I use 3-5 units of Botox injected in the muscle on the affected side and it helps to minimize the problem.”

“Do you know if states are going to prohibit this? I have invested in the training but have not bought the supplies,” said a Maryland dentist.

Jim predicts that demand for Botox is only going to grow, but offers these cautionary words for smart dental practice management: “You’ll definitely want to check with your state before you invest in becoming a dental Botox provider.”

Botox Dentists Expand Definition of “Cosmetic Dentistry” (video)

Botox dentists and the new cosmetic dentistryIs it time for Botox to be included in cosmetic dentistry?The slight majority of dentists think so!

In this survey, 57% of dentists said that since dentists are licensed medical professionals, they are fully capable of safely offering offering non-dental cosmetic procedures such as dental Botox injections.

The other 43% think dentists ought to focus on healthy gums and teeth, not becoming a Botox dentist.

Read more: Cosmetic Dentists Ready To Include Botox

Dentists Offer Botox in the Dental Office

 

Scottish Dentists Cash in on Cosmetic Craze

It’s a deadly toxin whose paralytic properties make wrinkles disappear instantly, and consumers love it. In Scotland, more and more dentists are cashing in on the popularity of Botox. With each treatment costing hundreds of dollars, the profits are hard to resist. However, some are concerned that dentists aren’t receiving adequate training before offering the injections in their dental practices.

Read more

Dental Marketing Targets: Sleep Apnea, TMJ & Botox Patients

Best teeth whitening methodsWho do dentists target with their dental marketing? This survey found sleep apnea and TMJ/TMD patients were each targeted by half of responding dentists.

When it comes to the new cosmetic dentistry, we found that 5% of dentists offer cosmetic Botox, 11% offer therapeutic Botox treatment for TMJ treatment, and 14% offer Restylane or other dermal fillers.

“I do this very carefully because of the turf battles for Botox and Fillers. I market quietly and professionally in all areas by using education in the ads. Patients have a sense of entitlement, but in a heartbeat will pay cash for Botox… The Botox and fillers helps subsidize the practice to practice,” said one dentist. “I love providing this service too. No stress, reversible, pts love it and ask for it and pay in full the day of service.”

Read more: Targeted Dental Marketing: Sleep Apnea, TMJ, Botox & More Dental Patients

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