Allergan: Wrinkles and New Jersey

Allergan makes glaucoma drugs that are supposed to help the inside of eyes, but it is most famous for fixing the wrinkles around them with Botox.

The company actually has two Botox groups, one that makes the wrinkle products that is a cash (or credit card, more likely) business and not reimbursed by regular health-care insurers, private or public. The other makes drugs for a several parts of the body, from head to bladder, that are generally covered.

Allergan officials were in Bridgewater, N.J. last week to cut the ribbon on a new facility. Sunday's Inquirer story on what went into that choice is here.

The wrinkle sector is about one third of Allergan's business, CEO David Pyott said last week, but gets 80 percent of the attention.

"To me, it doesn't matter," Pyott said. "Most people would rather read about removing wrinkles."

Philosophically, does America need wrinkle-removing medication when there are other problems?

"I don't find it a dilemma at all," Pyott said. "It would be extremely contentious if the public payer were paying for people's beautification. This is a purely discretionary spend by the consumer, and I think in a good way. When you look at consumers, more and more it is about fitness and physical activity. People realize that feels good."

It helps his corporate cause, of course, but Pyott is proponent of the concept of 60 being the new.....what? 50? 40?

Growing old? No, I'm climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.

"If you can look like 50, why would you want to look like 60?" said Pyott, noting he was approaching the latter figure. "That's basically what our product does."