The author has indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.
Analysis of Botulinum Toxin Products and Litigation in the United States
Article first published online: 6 MAR 2013
© 2013 by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Inc. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Volume 39, Issue 11, pages 1587–1591, November 2013
How to Cite
Korman, J. B., Jalian, H. R. and Avram, M. M. (2013), Analysis of Botulinum Toxin Products and Litigation in the United States. Dermatologic Surgery, 39: 1587–1591. doi: 10.1111/dsu.12188
- Issue published online: 6 NOV 2013
- Article first published online: 6 MAR 2013
Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) has diverse cosmetic and therapeutic applications, spanning multiple medical specialties. Recent lawsuits alleging complications from its clinical use have raised significant questions about medicolegal risk.
To identify and assess legal cases related to clinical complications of BoNT products.
Methods and Materials
Using the LexisNexis Academic online database, a search of U.S. federal and state cases between 1985 and 2012 was performed. A second search of U.S. newspapers and wires was also completed. In all but one case, the plaintiffs' legal complaints were obtained for review.
Twenty-four relevant legal cases were found, mostly in state courts. All cases alleged adverse effects from onabotulinumtoxinA, and each named its manufacturer, Allergan, Inc., as a defendant. Most lawsuits against Allergan, Inc. were dismissed or settled. In three cases, physicians were codefendants, including one dermatologist. In two cases, jury verdicts resulted in multimillion-dollar judgments in favor of the plaintiffs. None of the lawsuits named a dermatologist when the complication arose from on-label indications and cosmetic use.
Lawsuits related to complications from BoNT products are uncommon, are more likely to result from therapeutic than cosmetic applications, and typically involve product liability claims against the manufacturer.