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Botox® Developer Regrets Missed Opportunity to Mint Money

Botox® inventor Dr. Alan Scott regrets selling the rights to the best-selling cosmetic drug. In a 2012 Times of India interview, Dr. Scott even went as far as saying, “If I knew (how big it would become), I would have never given it to the drug company Allergan in 1991.”


Dr. Scott sold the rights to Botox® for just $4.5 million, which in his words was a “satisfactory deal” at the time, but as he reflected on how far the drug has grown, he realized he could have been “making a billion dollars a year now.”


Botox® was originally created and approved to treat two muscle eye disorders, uncontrollable blinking and misaligned eyes, in 1989. The drug makes the muscles relax and is now used for cosmetic medicine, like getting rid of wrinkles, as well as therapeutic medicine, like swallowing issues and muscle spasms.


Dr. Scott said when he first developed Botox®, which he originally named Oculinum, he didn’t realize the potential for it to work as a cosmetic agent. This breakthrough for cosmetic medicine was seen in a 1992 study in which Canadian ophthalmologist Jean Carruthers saw her patients begin to lose their frown lines. Around a decade later, the United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug for fixing frown lines.


The FDA approval of Botox® paved the way for other botulinum toxins to be approved and put into use for various cosmetic and therapeutic purposes.


Dysport® is a botulinum toxin which was first approved by the FDA in 2009 to treat cervical dystonia and moderate to severe glabellar lines, which are also known as frown lines found between the eyebrows, in adults under the age of 65.


Xeomin® is a form of botulinum toxin that was created by Merz Pharmaceuticals, and is used as a cosmetic treatment for moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows. The drug was first approved by the FDA in 2010, and intended to treat blepharospasm, or involuntary blinking, and cervical dystonia, which is an involuntary contraction of neck muscles.


Jeuveau® is another botulinum toxin that was most recently introduced and ultimately FDA approved in 2019 for treatment of glabellar lines as well. Upon its release to market, Jeuveau® was labeled as a “cheaper rival to Allergan’s Botox®.


The American Academy of Facial Esthetics offers botulinum toxin and dermal filler courses that teach healthcare professionals injectable safety protocols and anatomically based techniques that will add valuable services to their practice. Register for a course and learn more about all of the various botulinum toxins and gain the skills to properly inject.

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