Daily Archives: April 25, 2012

Big Business Eyelashes Are Coming To Congress

The competition appears to be right behind a big money-making business. 

Drugmaker’s Eyelash Fight Reaches Congress.  Roll Call. 

Allergan makes Latisse (R), an eyelash growth-enhancing medication applied to the eyelashes, to help them grow thicker and more numerous.  Whether there are few eyelashes because of medical problems, or someone feels there are just not enough eyelashes for cosmetic reasons, Latisse (R) can be used to help make them longer, darker, and thicker, and help grow more of them.  But the original manufacturer must be worried about the competition.     

With good reason.

Latisse costs $90 to $120 for a month’s supply and is not covered by insurance. It is identical to Allergan’s glaucoma drug Lumigan, an eyedrop that spurs eyelash growth as a side effect. Athena’s product, by contrast, costs $150 for a six-month supply.

The heart of the matter stems from the active ingredients called  prostaglandin analogs (PGA).   

Allergan would like Congress to require all products containing a class of ingredients known as prostaglandin analogs, or PGAs, to be approved and sold as drugs. Latisse’s active ingredient is a PGA.Can you see the price of those “cosmetics” shoot through the roof, and into the consumer’s pocketbooks? 

Can you see the price of those “cosmetics” now shoot through the roof, and out of the consumer’s pocketbooks? 

“This is a growing problem, not a static problem,” said Damon Burrows, Allergan’s vice president and associate general counsel. “The longer this proliferates, the greater the potential that other companies will try to use PGAs in products that they claim to be cosmetics.”

 Is it an attempt to change the rules of the game in the name of safety or profit?

It is hard to say exactly how many rival products contain the ingredients. Last spring, the FDA warned at least one company, Lifetech Resources, that it misbranded a similar product called RapidLash that also contained PGAs. Revitalash, another eyelash enhancer made by Athena Cosmetics Inc., also contains a PGA, according to its website.

RapidLash (R) by Rocasuba and RevitaLash (R) by Athena Cosmetics may be inexpensive alternatives.  Non-prescription too, with lower price tags.  It is understandable why Allergan would be concerned about Rocasuba, Athena, and others nipping at their heels.

Might one comment, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?”