Cosmetic Injections A Worthwhile Investment
Coalition Makes Predictions for 2009
January 21, 2009 - Investing in self-improvement will still be a priority for many in 2009 according to recent predictions made by the leadership of the Physicians Coalition for Injectable Safety. The most prevalent prediction: a continued growth in consumers who elect to enhance personal appearance with cosmetic injections. "Despite an economic downturn in the worldwide economy, the growth of injectables is unlikely to decrease in 2009," said Roger Dailey, MD, an oculoplastic surgeon from Portland, Oregon. In a tight economy, trendy products and leisure travel are often hard hit. "As we have seen in previous recessions, people are investing in "˜self' more so than disposable goods. They are willing to cut back on luxury vacations, but not on BotoxÂ® or fillers," said Dr. Dailey. Cosmetic injections collectively numbered nearly 4.5 million procedures in 2007* and are generally less expensive than more invasive surgical procedures. Among other predictions:
- Safety will continue to take the spotlight with a greater focus on injectors, qualifications and proper use of injections
- States will adopt stricter regulations of providers for cosmetic injections, highlighting the importance of qualified injectors
- Awareness for the importance of FDA approved brands will grow as the result of further investigations into importation and use of non-approved injectables
Coalition members agree that the problem of untrained and unqualified injectors remains an issue, however, there is hope that their campaign will continue to raise consumer awareness. "With the economy weak, some patients and doctors alike will be looking to cut corners," said Dr. Dailey. "This will lead a segment of these populations to wander into some fringe activity like counterfeit injectables, or lower-priced, unqualified providers." "Safety issues will be in the news and state medical boards will start to impose regulations concerning supervision of non-physician injectors," says Ira D. Papel, MD, Baltimore, Maryland. "These types of actions and an emphasis on appropriate physician credentials are important messages for consumer safety."
New Cosmetic Injectables Introduced
"New cosmetic injectables will present greater options, but require a more concerted effort to educate consumers on safety and choice in 2009," says Jeffery Kenkel, MD, a plastic surgeon in Dallas, Texas. Regarding the introduction of new injectables in 2008 and those anticipated in 2009, the Coalition predicts:
- Continued demand for safe and effective cosmetic treatment options will increase the number of consumer options including cosmetic injections
- Emphasis on consumer education by injectable companies, qualified physicians and in media will specifically highlight consumer safety and choice, and identify the risks of non-FDA approved or counterfeit products
- Focused research and physician training resulting in greater predictability of results and fewer adverse outcomes, with existing and new cosmetic injectable drugs and devices
The Coalition, charged with educating consumers on safe choices in cosmetic injections and eradicating the use of counterfeit and illegally imported cosmetic injectables, suggests all consumers follow these steps to ensure safe and effective treatment:
- Doctor: Ask your doctor or injector for qualifications. Choose a doctor who specializes in treating all cosmetic concerns of the face, such as a board certified plastic surgeon, facial plastic surgeon, oculoplastic surgeon or dermatologist. Examinations and procedures should take place in a licensed and properly equipped medical facility. Establish a positive and on-going relationship with your doctor and follow-up as directed. A nurse or physician's assistant may perform your injection if you elect, but a licensed physician must prescribe the treatment.
- Brand: Ask specifically for the brand name of the injectable recommended for you, the approval status of regulatory agencies in the country where you will be treated (the FDA in the United States) and about any potential outcomes and the likelihood of adverse events. If your doctor does not offer, ask specifically to see the packaging and identifying marks that can verify authenticity, including the serial and lot number (which as a matter of proper procedure must be recorded in your medical chart). For reference, images of all US FDA approved brand logos and packaging are available at: http://www.injectablesafety.org/html/ataglance.php.
- Safety: If you suspect your injector is not properly trained, is not following proper procedure or is injecting you with a non-branded, non-approved or unsafe substance, do not accept treatment. Follow-up by anonymously reporting suspected illegal activity to your local FDA field office that can be found at http://www.fda.gov/consumer/updates/oci072307.html.
To learn more about the benefits of cosmetic injections, the uses for approved cosmetic injectables, to plan for your treatment, see video of live, appropriately administered injectables and more, visit http://www.injectablesafety.org and http://www.realself.com/injectable-safety-campaign
The Physicians Coalition for Injectable Safety is an alliance of specialty physician organizations including the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the International Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the Canadian Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. The mission of the Coalition is to provide the public with unbiased and necessary information on injectable cosmetic treatments, appropriate injectors and where to safely access cosmetic medical procedures. Our goal is to promote treatment supervised by properly qualified and trained, board-certified doctors and to promote only the use of U.S. FDA-approved, appropriately administered product. More information can be found at http://www.injectablesafety.org.