AFTERNOON DC - THE BUSINESS OF BEAUTY
Dec 26, 2011
It’s a business that’s growing by leaps and bounds and is expected to record an annual growth rate of 50% over the next two years. For the established ones it’s certainly going to be boom time. One amongst these is Allergan, Inc. a multi-specialty health care companywhich is on the fore front and specialises in developing and commercialising innovative pharmaceuticals, biologics, medical devices and over-the-counter consumer products. Mayura Shanbaug caught up with R. Raghu Kumar, Managing Director of the company and leading Cosmetologist Dr. Jamuna Pai, and tried to decipher the factors that makes this business tick?
Beauty lies in the eyes of beholder… but with modernscience it lies in a syringe full of Botox, if you have the money. And with the growing sense of well-being and buying power, a large number of the population is opting for it. Earlier it came with the sense of vanity and pride. But with that emergence of science and the fast changing urban lifestyle, the earlier myths have been dispelled. The Wellness market in India was at USD 10 billion in 2010 with the target to reach USD 20 billion by 2013.
So what is Botox about? It is a prescription-only medical product that contains tiny amounts of highly purified ‘botulinum toxin protein’ refined from the bacterium, Clostridium botulinum says Raghu Kumar.
“Botox has a unique, protected molecular structure that stabilizes the core toxin in ‘BOTOX’ from degradation. When injected at FDA-approved and labeled doses into a specific muscle or gland, ‘BOTOX’ neurotoxin is expected to diffuse locally and produce a safe and effective result by producing a localized and temporary reduction in the overacting muscle or gland, usually lasting up to approximately three months depending on the individual patient…It is perfectly safe without any long term negative or side effects,” he assures.
. ‘Botox’ was first approved by the FDA 21 years ago for the treatment of strabismus and blepharospasm, two eye muscle disorders, making it the first botulinum toxin type A product approved in the world. Since its first approval, it has been recognised by regulatory authorities worldwide as an effective treatment for 21 different indications in approximately 80 countries, benefiting millions of patients worldwide.
“The cosmetic use of ‘Botox’ came much later, when in addition to its therapeutic uses, the same formulation of ‘Botox’ with dosing specific to moderate to severe glabellar lines were approved by the FDA in 2002 under the trade name ‘Botox’ Cosmetic (onabotulinumtoxinA). ‘Botox’ Cosmetic is indicated for the temporary improvement in the appearance of moderate to severe glabellar lines (frown lines between the eyebrows) associated with muscle activity in adult patients up to 65 years of age,” he mentions.
There was no looking back since then. With Allergen capturing 90% market share worldwide in the ‘Botox’ Cosmetic segment and approximately 29 million treatment sessions been performed over 11,000 patients in the past 20 years and the number growing.
“Everybody wants to look good and want to have the results quickly, but the irony of the situation is, inspite of its growing popularity, ‘Botox’ is still a taboo. People want to look good with the help of ‘Botox’, but do not want to reveal the secret behind it,” quips in Dr. Jamuna Pai, who is practicing cosmetologist since 1994 and has seen the number of patients grow by 40-50% year on year.
“The key is to get the procedure done correctly by qualified doctor, as wrong procedure can cause harm. However, there is no danger of systemic poisoning as it is just a protein and can be flushed out of your systems in due course,” she adds.
“There may be some pain and bruising for some time which goes away with time and in extreme case scenario there may be flu-like symptoms,” she explains.
Dr. Pai assures that the entire procedure does not take more than 10-15 minutes, which can be done in anybody’s lunch break without leaving tell-tell signs on ones face. The procedure can be performed from the age of 18 onwards till the age 75 -80, she adds.
“In fact, it is equally popular with male members of the society. 15-20% of my clients are males,” she tells with a wink.
As far as the price you have to pay for your everlasting beauty is (for four units of ‘Botox’) minimum Rs. 12, 000 every six months. A person requires at least 36-40 units for upper part of his face.
Raghu Kumar who is very optimistic about the advances made by research and development division of the company is confident of achieving the target in Indian market as well. “In the next 2-3 years ‘Botox’ treatment will be an everyday thing,” he says.