Botox rivals could fuel big DTC fight

Watch out, Botox. A couple of competitors could soon be breathing down your wrinkle-free neck. France's Ipsen has won U.K. approval to sell its muscle relaxant Azzalure for use against brow wrinkles--and the company is aiming for other European countries this year. Maybe even the U.S.

Meanwhile, another U.S. firm, Medicis, has its own Botox rival, Reloxin and hopes to hit the domestic market by the second half of 2009. And Mentor--recently bought out by Johnson & Johnson--boasts its own Botox competitor awaiting FDA approval.

The upshot? Major DTC advertising, says John Mack at Pharma Marketing Blog. Botox's maker, Allergan, will spend big bucks to defend its smooth-face franchise: "It's important that people just recognize that these are different products," an Allergan spokeswoman said. And the newbies will spend big to win new market share, Mack predicts. They'll have to, especially if Medicis is to capture 25 percent of Botox's share as some analysts claim.

- read the post at Pharma Marketing Blog
- check out the Azzalure piece at the WSJ

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