Allergan Medical – remember them? The fun folks who brought us Botox are at it again. They’ve got a new product on the market called Latisse. Does it help a medical condition? No. Does it create the perception of a medical condition? That depends on your point of view and to me it depends on whether or not you’re a consumer and then, it depends on what you think of the FDA and its “stamp” of approval.
Latisse creates thicker and longer eyelashes. According to The New York Times, since Allergan brought this into our lives, via advertising with the obviously “eyelash-inadequate” Brooke Shields, they’ve sold more than $12M worth of this new product. But before you throw away your mascara, wands and spoolies, here’s the rub, or the wiggle, if you will. You can’t buy Latisse over-the-counter; it’s available by prescription only. And, as prescription only, has been approved by the FDA. So, no quick trips to the makeup counter for you. The only “FDA-approved” way you can get fuller, longer eyelashes is with your doctor’s orders. Just try submitting that to your insurance company!
As nurses, we know that FDA approval doesn’t mean a product is safe. I’ve discussed all sorts of products here before that have achieved FDA approval but later turned out to have bad side effects. Does the average consumer understand that? Do they think that “doctor-prescribed” means it’s a good, healthy and safe thing? Do they believe that side effects won’t affect them? After all, isn’t everything that doctors prescribe good for us, and even more so if it’s got the FDA’s seal of approval? Many of us have lived through the age of “better living through chemistry” and found it to be all lies, resulting in coworkers strung out on sleeping pills, anti-depressants or worse.
If you’re like me, don’t you think it’s time for the pharmaceutical companies to stop putting those “ask your doctor about Ineeditnowacol” ads on TV and in magazines? I see these adverts and commercials and half the time don’t know what the medication is for. But I do hear and see the warning that Ineeditnowacol isn’t for everybody and may cause liver or kidney failure, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, internal bleeding, sore gums, sore bums, feelings of depression, hyper-elation or loss of appetite. But does everybody read and understand these warnings? I don’t think so.
I’ve said before it’s time to stop medicalizing conditions as an excuse to sell more drugs. I can understand remedies for allergies, arthritis pain and hay fever, but “eyelash inadequacy?” It’s time to stop hitting consumers with advertisements that make us feel inadequate and instead concentrate on real medical conditions.
While you’re figuring out what you need to have treated next (and why), I’ll be helping myself – to a big cup of healthy green tea and some real foods rich in Omega 3s.
Success Is Inside!
P.S. Take a minute and read the warnings on the Latisse homepage – one of which is that you may grow hair on any area that comes in regular contact with the product. Perhaps they should be looking into the male-pattern baldness market instead (or maybe that’s next)!