Botox America

I read an article called Botox Economy: Why Allergan is the Perfect American Company.  For those who do not know, Allergan is a pharmaceutical firm that is based in Irvine California.  It is best known for Juvederm, Botox, and breast implants.  Allergan’s stock is in the 90s and near a 52-week high which makes the firm worth $26 billion.  Allergan reported a $296 million profit in their most recent quarter.  While companies around the world are struggling with low and slowing demand, according to the author, “Allergan serves as an example – and a metaphor – for how American firms can thrive in a low-growth economy”.  Although half of Allergan’s revenue is from drugs that treat serious medical conditions, it is able to capitalize on the fast growing surgical cosmetic industry.  They are able to plug into the social trend, capitalizing on the age conscious American who is concerned about aging (there are more and more of these people every day).  They are also tapping into rapidly rising incomes in emerging markets and an increased desire to spend more money on physical maintenance.  During the recession, the company’s sales remained steady and now they are increasing rapidly.  According to Allergan’s CEO, Botox is the next big thing.  The state of the market around the world says that people want to look better.  Those who can afford it do and those who can’t save so they can.  Allergan creates consumer demand by continuously innovating and finding new uses for existing products.  There are also finding new overseas markets.

It is really amazing how fast this social trend is catching on.  These are very expensive and painful procedures that people are willing to undergo just to look better.  However, Allergen is able to make money and growing even in a down economy.  I just hope they can continue to make money while remaining ethical.  In my opinion, making money off people’s insecurities does not seen ethical but I might be the only person who thinks so.  This article claims that Allergan is the perfect American company.  Well, i think not.  I think that if people just had a little bit more self confidence and accepted that aging is part of life, then Allergan would not be growing as rapidly as it is now.



8 responses to “Botox America

  1. I agree that the concept of spending money on surgical cosmetic procedures to look young is a wasteful way to spend money and growth in the industry is ridiculous. That being said, I do not think that Allergan is therefore unethical for its practices. I think the broader issue is the American society and public media that so often pressures individuals to looks young, skinny, and beautiful. Unfortunately, many Americans have bought into this social culture and Allergan is one of many companies to reap the benefits. I also think their location is important to their success, as I would believe California would have some of the higher statistics in this type of surgical cosmetic procedures. I think it is also important to looks at the other side of the company’s revenues and business which is the use drugs that treat serious medical conditions. I think that the increase in their cosmetics surgical procedures is really an increase in demand and a company that is located in the right area.

  2. I agree with Meghan’s comment above, it would be difficult to place blame on Allergen and not hold those that demand the procedures accountable. I think it would interesting to research Allergen’s advertising. Their marketing initiatives could indicate whether they reinforce society’s pressures to look younger or if it is the media alone.

  3. Alexis, great idea to take a more in depth look at the marketing strategy and advertising campaigns. I think that it is far too common today for companies to try and deceive their customers about the potential health risks associated with their product.

  4. I think it’s shocking how people are willing to accept the well-known risks these types of treatments have just to look younger. People can have very serious reactions to these injectables and although rare, they have caused fatalities. That said, these muscles-paralyzing products actually have therapeutic uses for sufferers of cerebral palsy and other spasm-inducing conditions. It seems these treatments are seen as superfluous to most people when they actually can improve a patient’s quality of life and mobility.

  5. With the growing number of people that have the desire to go under surgical cosmetic procedures, I am not surprised that Allergen has been doing well, even during the slow economic times. That said, I agree with you in the sense that I do not think that they are unethical by providing these services as they are legal and are something that consumers are willing to pay a lot of money for. It’d be interesting to find out what parts of their business are really accounting for their success during this time.

  6. I think Allergen is smart in providing these kinds of services. You can say its unethical to alter the appearance of someone, but on the other side, Allergen is making people feel better about themselves. What’s unethical about that. If it makes people happier, then Allergen should be allowed to continue with their business.

  7. Wow, people have a lot to say! Yes Allergen does things legally, for now. My only problem is that they are driving demand by constantly innovating. You might be saying that this makes them a great company. When your dealing with people’s health and you create a need where there is no need in the name of innovation, then i see a problem.

  8. As i think more about this and read more of the comments, it is safe to say that society needs to reevaluate its values. Allergen is an American company and adheres American FDA rules and regulations. My fear is that a cheaper foreign company can come in and start selling Botox. They might not follow the same rules. But this would in no way be Allergen’s fault, they only drove the demand, right?

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