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Dysport vs Botox: Units and Pricing

What’s the deal with Dysport pricing and units?  It’s so confusing!?!?

I recently received an email from a client who expressed her confusion and frustration about how she was charged for her Dysport treatment as there seemed to be a major discrepancy between our advertised price of $5/unit and her receipt.  The trouble is that the manufacturers of Dysport have created a problem because the way that they measure their product differs from that of their major competitor – Botox.  Both companies use the word “unit” to define an amount of product, but when you compare them, it takes three Dysport units to be equivalent to one Botox unit.  This is the case both in how they ship their products and how their products are injected.  Both manufacturers recommend that injectors reconstitute the medicines with 2.5 cc’s of sterile saline per vial of shipped product, and the vials have in them the same effective amount of botulinum toxin, but the Botox vial has 100 "units" in it and the Dysport vial has 300 "units" in it!   AAAARGH!   So, we are in a quandary as this makes the “price per unit” of Dysport look really cheap ($5) compared to the price per unit of Botox ($16), until you figure out that you need three times as many units of Dysport.  Thus, for the same treatment, it is really only a little less expensive because Dysport costs effectively $15/ Botox-equivalent-unit.

In order to make our documentation on charts consistent and to make check-out less confusing, a few years ago we decided as a company to convert everything into Botox-equivalent-units.  This means that we track our inventory, chart where and how much product we inject into clients’ faces, and do our check-out billing all in Botox-equivalent-units.  That said, because savvy prospective clients may be aware of the difference in units and prices by brand we need to list our price for Dysport in the Dysport manufacturer’s units.  It’s a lot to explain in writing, I’m not even sure that I have done an effective job yet, even here.  Alas.

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