April 2, 2009
GIVEN Botox’s entrenchment in the American market, the success of Reloxin will largely depend on how Medicis leverages its relationships with physicians, said Gary Nachman, the director of specialty pharmaceuticals at Leerink Swann, an investment bank.
Citing a “pent-up demand for a new product,” he predicted that Reloxin will seize 25 to 30 percent of the market over time.
Last year, there were 5 million injections of Botox, up from 4.6 million in 2007, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
But in a struggling economy, Poonam Jassi, an analyst at Millennium Research Group, said, “It will be interesting to see whether the entire market will grow” with a second neurotoxin.
Especially if it’s handsomely priced. Both Dr. Nick Lowe of England and Dr. Doris Hexsel of Brazil said that Dysport is less expensive. A 500-unit vial of Dysport costs Dr. Hexsel 40 percent more than a 100-unit vial of Botox, she said, but she can “treat double the patients.”
When Dr. Seth Matarasso of San Francisco, who used to consult for Allergan, started using Botox 13 years ago, it was about $335 a vial. Now it’s $525. For patients, the plastic surgeons society says the average fee for Botox injections is $391 a visit.
Only time will tell whether Reloxin will be less expensive for doctors, and whether patients will get discounts. Dr. Lowe, for instance, charges roughly $395 (for one area) to $680 (multiple areas) for Botox and Dysport at his London clinic.
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