I have just recently returned from San Diego, California where I attended the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) meeting and having finally recovered from the jet lag thought I would give you a report about what is happening on the other side of the pond!
Firstly it was great to see that each year the meeting is attended by more and more UK doctors and there was a good contingency of UK Dermatologists, Doctors and Suppliers there this year! The AAD is the largest dermatology conference in the World with over 17,000 delegates in attendance. San Diego was taken over by branded coaches, street signs and the latest innovation of beautiful women driving around the city on Segways all advertising various dermatology and laser companies; (I got to have a go on a Segway and they are great fun!)
The exhibition can only be described as massive, certainly the largest I have ever seen with many stands occupying the space of a tennis court, and actually having mini theatres on them for presentations by experts to their audience! The usual suspects were all in attendance, only bigger than we see them in the UK.
The raging topic amongst attending US physicians, and I spoke with many, was the recent 10 month ban on Merz selling Xeomin® to US doctors as a result of legal action by Allergan (the makers of Botox®). The ongoing legal action also prevented Merz from promoting their recently FDA cleared Belotero® dermal filler products and even the long established Radiesse® from the large Merz booth. A few Doctors that I spoke to were unhappy with the restrictions that this will place on their prescribing and resented the stance that Allergan have taken in pressing this case forward; it will be very interesting to see the long term effects of this ban as it plays out over the course of the year.
There were a few new technologies and products that haven’t reached our shores yet; possibly the most interesting of these was the Mira Dry from Miramarlabs. This is a focussed microwave device for the permanent treatment of axillary hyperhidrosis. Patients require two treatment sessions and results from studies are showing a 90% efficacy with patching patient satisfaction scores. This is probably one for the hospital dermatology market more than the aesthetic clinic market due to the cost of the device circa $80,000, but certainly one to watch out for!
The meeting also featured the launch of the new ZO range from Zein Obaji . Now competing with his previous product line Obaji, this range offers pigmentation and rejuvenation treatments using hydroquinone and retinol, with the promise of Hydroquinone free ranges to come.
I also had opportunity for a great Lunch meeting with Dr Tim Flynn who many of you will know from his popular lectures at the FACE Conference. He is looking forward to coming over again this year. We had a long discussion about the market both here and in the US, new technologies and their impacts on both sides of the Atlantic.
From a UK perspective it was great to see the launch of MEDIK8 to the US dermatology market and the introduction there of their skin roller, plus their growth factor products were well received by the US market as were their popular nanogen fibres and hair restoration product ranges.
St Patrick’s Day was celebrated by the UK contingency in an Irish bar on 4th Avenue and we were all surprised by the enthusiasm the Americans have for this holiday. We were surrounded by people dressed in green or as leprechauns and Irish songs were sung well into the night!
Next year is Miami so those of you that haven’t been to an AAD meeting before, it’s time to dust of those espadrilles and pastel linen jackets, roll up your sleeves and come along!