Botox® and Juviderm® Return on Investment
I have the wonderful health spending account offered through my benefits at work. The account offers reimbursement for medical and dental procedures performed by licensed health professionals. Every year I scramble to spend this money before the benefit deadline. I don’t take any prescription medication, don’t have any chronic medical conditions and there are only so many pairs of glasses or teeth whitening sessions a person can use, so I have a hard time spending this money. My plan covers cosmetic procedures and since I don’t need gastric bypass surgery or implants, I thought why not explore some fun with injectables? I booked an appointment at a prominent downtown clinic and looked forward to a cosmetic miracle. The year was 2008.(Please see the P.S. confession at the bottom of this post, for a 2013 update.)
At the appointment, I was seen by a nurse, and she would provide the consultation and quote before the procedure would be performed by the doctor. The nurse shuffled into the consultation room in a cardigan and orthopedic shoes. She had an eastern European accent and by my estimation was at least 99 years old –but- she had the tightest face I had ever seen. She may have smiled at me when she came into the room, but between her surprised eyes, voluptuous lips and mask-like expression, it was hard to tell.
She proceeded to examine my face and asked me to make certain facial expressions by alternating between frowning and smiling so she could see what she was dealing with. I would make the expressions and she would look at my creases and suck in her breath in a dramatic fashion, giving me the impression that I was the worst case she had ever seen. I do come from a long line of wrinklers. If the way we age is 50% genetic and 50% lifestyle, I am destined to become a raisin.
She stood back and delivered the news, and it was not good. I have exceptionally strong muscles in my forehead and my smile and frown lines are deep and to add insult to injury, I also have sun damage. I was going to need SO MUCH BOTOX AND SO MUCH FILLER!!! (Emphasis hers.)
She said that the injections would be at least $2,500 and that the doctor could not see me that day. I would need to come back for another appointment and I suspect they didn’t have enough Botox and Juviderm on stock at the clinic to deal with such a serious case. I did not book a follow-up appointment and I left the clinic feeling like a kicked puppy. Oh, if only I had lived my life without sunlight, stress and smiling!
In hindsight, what I should have done was go home and do a bit of research on the company that markets Botox® and Juviderm®. According to my research that company is Allergan Inc. and it trades on the NYSE under the symbol AGN. In December of 2008, AGN was trading $34.00 and as of last week it closed at $98.20. That is a return of 185% and it outperformed the S&P 500 for the same period. It also offers a teeny-tiny dividend. If your interest has been piqued and you would like to look into the global outlook for Facial Aesthetics, CompaniesandMarkets.com offers a full report for the reasonable price of $3.995 US.
If, instead, you are interested in pursuing some fun with injectables for yourself and you are a little short on cash, most clinics offer on the spot financing. These programs offer flexible repayment terms ranging from 6 months to 6 years with interest rates in the range of 5.99% to 29.99%. If you don’t qualify through a medical financing program, most clinics will also accept major credit cards. Financing companies have not developed an acceptable process for repossessing injections, so you get to keep them until they wear off naturally or the financing is written off by the collection agency, whichever comes first.
Cosmetic injectables can erase years of hard living, counter poor genetic endowment and increase self-esteem.
Post Script/Confession (fast forward to 2013): Please excuse the mild sarcasm in the proceeding two paragraphs. I still kick myself for not considering an investment in this company. I did however decide to drain my health spending account, this year, and give cosmetic injections a try. I can tell you that I found a wonderful doctor and he used reasonable amounts of Botox and filler and I am DELIGHTED with the results. I can’t say if I would choose to do it if I had to pay out of my own pocket, but I will cross that bridge when I get to it. I know that I would never finance a cosmetic procedure – but that’s just me.
photo credit: flickr Everjean