A new arrival just crashed the Botox party. Late Friday, Medicis Pharmaceuticals
Botox has made a name for itself in a society that's become particularly obsessed with the idea of reversing or preventing aging -- and if that's not possible, which it certainly isn't, at least looking as if one has. Despite its rather disturbing origins (botulinum toxin), the treatment has made itself into quite a fad.
While Restylane acts in a far gentler manner, by filling in wrinkles, it probably won't be alone. Rivals Genzyme
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) estimates that about 1.5 million people in the U.S. used injectable treatments to wipe out signs of aging last year; 1.1 million used Botox. That number seems destined to grow, and for some, money is no object in erasing lines, even on a temporary basis or at outrageous expense. (Fool Reggie Santiago broke out some of the numbers in a springtime commentary on the costly extremes many Americans go to to "reverse" the natural progression of time.)
The ASPS also expects that within two years collagen injections will become a less popular option, estimating that hyaluronic acid treatments like those mentioned above will become the second most popular treatment after Botox. While those between the ages of 41 and 50 benefit most, the "ideal age" to start treatment is supposedly between the ages of 31 and 35, according to the society's website.
That's pretty young to be roping people in. And because these are all temporary fixes, you can see why this is a large, coveted, and potentially very lucrative market indeed.
Despite the competition Medicis will face in the market for injectable "youth," not to mention the countless cosmetic products out there that claim to prevent or alleviate telling wrinkles and lines, it's hard to ignore the draw here. Seeing the reaction to Botox, which sounded so strange and eccentric when it first hit the news with word of its toxic origins, Restylane seems sure to be a very important addition to Medicis' product line.
Will Restylane be a shot in the arm for Medicis? Or will people see the folly of trying to roll back time? Talk about it with other Fools on the Pharmaceuticals discussion board.
Alyce Lomax welcomes your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.