Million-Dollar Q: The Cost of Qwo

By March 16, 2021 November 14th, 2021 Beauty
cost-of-Qwo

It’s here. Providers anticipate the arrival of Qwo as early as tomorrow, March 17, 2021.

We know the highly anticipated product has also now shipped out from manufacturer Endo Aesthetics and is in the hands of plastic surgeons and derms nationwide.

The million-dollar Q? How much does Qwo cost?

As with all things cosmetic, costs will vary from practice to practice and from patient to patient—given what concerns they present with—yet thus far, there are at least 10 things we can be certain of when it comes to the cost of Qwo.

Contents

1. Cost of Qwo from Providers
2. Cost of Qwo per vial
3. Does Insurance Cover Qwo?
4. Qwo Financing

Cost of Qwo from Providers

  • $3,600-$4,600: Dr. John L. Burns Jr. (Dallas, TX)
  • $3,600-$4,000: Cosmetic Laser Dermatology (San Diego, CA)
  • $3,000-$4,500: Dr. Darren Smith (New York, NY)
  • $2,700-$3,700: Dr. Bob Basu (Houston, TX)
  • $2,000-$3,000: Sperling Dermatology (New Jersey)
  • $1,800-$3,200: Fox Valley Plastic Surgery (Wisconsin)

Cost of Qwo per vial

  • $200-$250: Lengea® Legal Advisors

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“The series of [Qwo] treatments starts at $4,000.” – Qwo Provider

After pushing this article live late last night, I called three practices I’d seen advertising that Qwo is or would soon be available, hoping to nail a finer price range, as $2 – $5K is a bit too broad to be practical.

A practice in New York told me they are offering Qwo but costs for Qwo were unavailable outside of a personal consultation. “How about a vague range of prices?” I asked. “We won’t be able to give you any information on it.” (But have a great day.)

Another in North Carolina said they, too, have Qwo and it’s available to patients—but prices are only given in a personal consultation. Again, also no range.

Finally, onto a practice in California. The kind lady who answered my call said they do have Qwo and it is available to patients. And, did we have an approximate price or even a range of potential prices?

“The series of [Qwo] treatments starts at $4,000,” she told me. And they’re running an introductory offer a few hundred dollars less than that.



01. The company hasn’t yet publicly released a cost*

While Qwo will be available in an Endo-licensed plastic surgeon’s or derm’s office near you “in the Spring of 2021,” the company has yet to publicly announce a cost to consumers for the product.

02. Endo aimed to price Qwo for “widespread adoption”

Possibly promising, but at this point, that phrase is open to “widespread interpretation.”

03. Drs on Qwo clinical trials urged moderate pricing

In a February meeting, board-certified plastic surgeon and one of Qwo’s clinical trial investigators, Dr. Bruce Katz, told Endo that Qwo has to be priced moderately. “I really tried to give them the message that this should be fairly priced and not ridiculously expensive,” he says.

04. Some surgeons peg Qwo at $2K – $5K

Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Darren Smith speculates Qwo will run “somewhere in the range of $2,000 to $5,000.” He clarifies, “that is purely speculation on my part based on what we’re seeing in the cosmetic injectable and cellulite treatment market right now.”

05. Qwo won’t be covered by insurance

As nice as it would be to have insurance cover all but a small personal deductible on the cost of Qwo, we do know that insurance won’t be covering the cost of Qwo. In order for insurance to cover the cost of a procedure, that procedure needs to be deemed and proven medically necessary and well-documented as such. Removing cellulite from the buttocks has only cosmetic benefits and isn’t medically necessary, as much as we dislike and want to get rid of it, and as much as there are obvious psychological benefits to doing so.

06. An existing product with a similar end-goal costs $3,925

By way of how the procedure is performed, Cellfina has zero similarities to Qwo, but it does aim to produce a similar outcome—albeit using an entirely different methodology. (Qwo does with injectable enzymes what Cellfina does with a reciprocating 18-gauge blade.) Cellfina runs anywhere from $2,500 to $5,500, and its average cost to patients hovers around $3,925.

07. A workable cellulite treatment is worth $4,000 to some patients

With the average cost of Cellfina being just shy of $4,000, we do know cellulite is a problem people are anxious to address. And many have yet to solve it. According to RealSelf, Cellfina has a 53% “Worth It” rating, indicating patients would probably be willing to shell out additional cash in hopes of resolving the stubborn problem. In fact, that cellulite treatment has one of the lowest Worth It ratings on RealSelf, and we can bet that Endo aesthetics has done their research. For sake of comparison, various surgical breast procedures for instance have Worth It ratings of 93 to 100%, Gynecomastia surgery gets a 98% rating, and even non-surgical treatments like Morpheus8 have garnered a 77% Worth It rating.

08. The cost of Qwo will vary from patient to patient

As with all injectables, the cost of Qwo comes down to the number of units or syringes of product required to reach the patient’s cosmetic goals for the procedure. Since Qwo is injected in the individual dimples of cellulite, a patient with more of those dimples will require more Qwo than another patient with fewer cellulite dimples would require. Both patients will get the standard series of three treatments, but one of them would likely require more syringes and vials of the product. A total of 24 dimples can be treated in one session—12 per buttock.

09. CareCredit will likely be a Qwo financing option

CareCredit is a popular financing option for surgical and non-surgical cosmetic treatments and currently provides financing for Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, Juvederm, and other injectables. CareCredit is the “health, beauty, and wellness credit card” accepted at over 225,000 U.S. locations. CareCredit offers a variety of deferred-interest promotional plans—6, 12, 18, and 24-month options. Just be sure to pay the full balance before your promotional period expires if you can do so as “the standard Cardholder’s APR is [a staggering] 26.99%.” That interest DOES accumulate and WILL be payable if the entire balance isn’t zeroed out by the end of your promotional plan. See this page for details.

10. Qwo will probably be a lot cheaper than we think

Look at Botox. Allergan’s signature injectable. In 2019, it generated roughly $3.1 billion dollars in the U.S. alone. But the cost of the average treatment?

If we go with ASPS’s official 2019 numbers: $408. (From a list on which the most expensive injectable is $1,027).

If we go with Allure’s numbers, $400 – $500 per treatment area.

Why would Endo price its debut game-changing cellulite injectable anywhere near $5,000?

That price makes even less sense when you consider that a patient can simply walk in and say she wants only the most obvious of her cellulite dimples treated.

What then?

A cost for Qwo between 1,400 and 2,500 dollars?

Could be. Could be.


* In a February 26, 2021 earnings call with shareholders, Endo’s President and CEO, Blaise Coleman was asked by securities analyst Greg Gilbert to comment on the pricing of Qwo. Here’s what followed:

Blaise Coleman, President and Chief Executive Officer at Endo International plc:

“Yeah. Thanks, Greg. So on your questions on Qwo, we’re not going to be in a position today to share price or really provide anything around the sizing from a sales expectation standpoint.

“What I will do and I’ll hand it over to Patrick in one minute, maybe Patrick, just comment on how we’re thinking around that Qwo launch and the success metrics we’re going to be looking at. […]

“So, Patrick, if you just comment on maybe some of the key metrics we are looking at for Qwo that would be great.”

Patrick Barry, Executive Vice President and President, Global Commercial Operations at Endo International plc:

“Yes, happy to do so. Thanks for the question Greg. As Blaise mentioned in his opening comments, we do see Qwo as quite a nice opportunity for us, a big opportunity. There is about 8.5 million women that we feel could be candidates for Qwo, and as you look at the market and how we’ll approach it, it’s important to understand that we’re entering into a official injectable market that’s quite large, a body contouring market that’s grown at 500% over the last five years.

“And so, job one, will be to establish a base of injectors in the early phases of launch, and that’s what we will be focusing in on is building that foundation of injectors and our long-term success will be based on early patient outcomes as we establish that — a progressive approach of building efficacy in the marketplace. So what we will be doing is, as we establish that base of injectors, we’ll be focusing in on helping them do patient selection, patient education, helping them to build out practice success and also obviously making sure that we’re driving consumer awareness and consumer activity into the practice. And so it will be a progressive approach that we’ll take and job one will be to establish that base of injectors early on.” [emphasis added]

References:

1. Endo International plc (ENDP) Q4 2020 Earnings Call Transcript
2. Life's Butter site

James Anthony

James Anthony has written on self-improvement for 22 years, with his work appearing in five national magazines and on the websites of more than 100 U.S. Drs, MDs, and board-certified surgeons.