Monday, August 3, 2009

Repurposing a Glaucoma Medication

In the New York Times (8/2, MM15) Consumed column, Rob Walker discussed advertising claims made by the eyelash-enhancing drug Latisse [bimatoprost], "a recent offering from Allergan, the company best known for Botox [botulinum toxin type A], its physician-administered cosmetic-injection product." The Times noted that "during clinical testing of a glaucoma medication called Lumigan [bimatoprost ophthalmic], Allergan's researchers noted a side effect: eyelash growth." So, "recognizing the market potential for such a thing, the company conducted a new safety-and-efficacy study, this time making the former side effect the main focus, explained Robert Grant, the president of Allergan Medical, the company's aesthetic-products division." In December, 2008, "the Food and Drug Administration gave Allergan clearance for this new use." In advertisements, "Allergan isn't making a disease-related claim about Latisse, but rather positioning it, like Botox, as part of what the company calls a 'science of rejuvenation.'"

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