Allergan, Inc.'s misleading marketing cost them big time. A judge this week approved the $600 million fine feds previously announced against the Irvine-based pharmaceutical company whose most popular product is Botox. But don't cry too hard for Allergan: Botox earns the company $1.3 billion in annual sales.
Botox is an extremely neurotoxic protein most popularly used for its cosmetic effect of smoothening wrinkles. Botox has also been approved for certain medical purposes, including the use of excessive underarm sweating as well as neck, elbow, wrist and finger spasms.
However, from 2000-2005, Allergan promoted Botox for headaches, pain and cerebral palsy in children without U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval. Without the health official's consent, Allergan was able to speed up the process of making profit . . . at the cost of the public.
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The FDA is designed for "Protecting and Promoting Your Health," as their motto declares. So when companies like Allergan promote their products for certain uses without FDA approval, great risks are involved.
A federal investigation of the company's marketing of Botox led to Allergan's decision to pay $600 million and plead guilty to misbranding their product. This misrepresentation in marketing serves as a warning to other companies, demonstrating the consequences for carelessly pushing forward for personal profits.