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India gets a Botox face lift

US-based Allergan plans to aggressively peddle its anti-wrinkle Botox in India.



May 20, 2006: US company Allergan Inc's Botox (Botulinum toxin), which received a Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approval early this month will now be available as a treatment with 750 facial aesthetic specialists in India.

Dermatologists and plastic surgeons will be trained to inject Botox. Only trained physicians can purchase Botox, as it is not available over the counter.

The company has also commenced advertising directly to consumers to make them aware of the facial lines that can now be treated with Botox.

Over the years, Botox has been used for therapeutic and cosmetic purposes. Therapeutically, it is used to relieve spasms in spasticity and other movement disorders. The regulatory approval includes the treatment of hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), glabellar lones (frown lines) and hyperkinetic facial lines. Cosmetically, it relaxes the muscles and smoothens skins removing wrinkles.

The treatment involves injecting Botox with a fine needle directly into the skin or muscles that create wrinkles. The whole procedure takes a few minutes and does not require anesthesia. 

The treatment can cost anything between Rs 5000 - Rs 8000 for a duration of four to six months. 

Allergan, which is the sole marketer of Botox in India, expects the country to be a major market given the increasing interest in age-defying treatments. 

Worldwide, US, Canada, Brazil, UK, and Australia are the leading users of Botox with the cosmetic use of Botox accounting for 45 per cent of Botox total sales of $831 million in 2005.




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