Allergan denies Botox could be used in bioattack

Allergan, the Irvine, Calif.-based maker of Botox, has denied that its drug could be used as a bioweapon by terrorists.

The Orange County Register reports that terrorism analysts have said that there is potential danger of terrorists acquiring Botox or other neurotoxins that can cause paralysis.

"We collaborate closely with governments when a potential issue does arise,” Caroline Van Hove, Allergan’s vice president for corporate communications, told the Register. “Regardless of counterfeiting being very uncommon, the article incorrectly states that Allergan is not doing enough to prevent a problem that does not exist and is implying that we need to be enforcing laws when that is not our role.”

The issue of Botox as a possible terrorist weapon has been hotly debated since 2001, with a recent article in June's Scientific American again bringing the threat to the forefront, the newspaper reports.

Authors from the Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, Calif., wrote recently that demand is rising for counterfeit Botox that could be used to supply terrorists and that Allergen should do more to monitor the threat.

Van Hove told the Register that the article creates “the misimpression that this is a threat of national security. The incidence of counterfeiting is very rare and, when potential counterfeits are detected, actions are quickly taken to prevent mainstream penetration.”