I think the real question a lot of people will have to worry about isn’t how much HM costs per se, but how much it will cost them to fly over to England and live there for a few weeks while getting the procedure done, and to pay for everything (procedure, hotel, clinic, transportation, living expenses) in UK pounds which are now 2:1 to the US dollar.
Yep, you heard me right, fly to the UK and live there for at least 3-4 weeks, and probably make fairly frequent and substantial trips back there for a while after that, as well, to be monitored (unless the monitoring can be done somewhere in the US, like at a Bosley clinic, since Bosley does have an agreement with ICX).
What I’m getting at is that, based on everything we know now, all the developments and the trends, and in particular the fact that neither ICX nor ARI are currently doing ANY clinical trials in the US, it appears that the FDA has slowed down the trials process in the US to a crawl.
And I think this means that, when HM is finally approved and made available, it will be in the UK, and/or parts of Europe FIRST, and will probably take at least 2 more years, maybe 3, to be approved and available in the US.
My hunch is that the HT industry is behind this situation, and has filed letters with the FDA recommending that they go very slow with what the HT industry is probably saying is a “risky” procedure that needs much more scrutiny (even though all the evidence shows it’s very safe).
I don’t want to have to fight with all the morons on here who’ll say, “But the HT industry will welcome HM and they have the most to gain from it!!”
WRONG. WRONG. WRONG.
Only a select few parts of the US hair transplantation industry will gain from HM. Only a tiny minority – really only Bosley and maybe a few other scattered outliers who have some kind of arrangement with Bosley, which I predict will be very rare (mainly because Boz has virtually no incentive to do this, and ICX’s deal with Boz appears to be pretty exclusive for North America – thus they won’t be licensing their procedure to every Tom, Dick and Harry HT surgeon in the US and Canada.)
For the rest of the HT surgeons and clinics in the US, HM will be an unmitigated catastrophe – a financial disaster of epic proportions which will completely wreck them. It will even divert standard HT work away from the HT docs, towards Bosley, because Bosley will control ALL of the HM in the US, both ICX and later ARI (of which Bosley is a subsidiary/partner).
In short, HM is a HUGE “disruptive technology” in the existing hair restoration market, which will have major financial implications for all surgeons and practices currently making millions from HT.
HM will destroy their businesses, and they know this.
Thus there is a HUGE incentive for the organized US HT industry to mess with HM at the FDA level… and I think they are doing it.
Good thing they don’t have quite as much power as an organized lobby in the UK. They do have some power there, but not the leverage they would have here where these “doctors” can just send “letters of concern” to the FDA based on their skewed medical views and opinions, and literally slow down the trials process (and, by extention, the approval process), to a crawl, all behind the scenes WITHOUT THE PUBLIC KNOWING ABOUT IT.
And Dr. Washenik, ARI, ICX, et al. can’t say a word about all this behind-the-scenes maneuvering, because that would be considered unduly interfering in the supposedly “unbiased” FDA review process. That’s why you’ll never hear a word about it from any of the HM folks.
So the real question I pose to all AMERICANS on this forum, is how much are you ABLE TO SPEND to do the following:
Leave your work and fly to the UK or even some Eastern European country, say, where they’re able to get HM approved first
Stay there for a rather extended period (minimum 3 weeks, for hair extraction, culturing, and cell implantation) and pay for everything, including living expenses, in the highly-valued British pound
After that’s done, return for regular visits for them to monitor your hair growth, which they will probably want you to do
Personally, I am financially able to do this (I’m not a millionaire, people, but I can do it, although it’s pretty damn inconvenient both financially and time-wise)… but how many Americans here can?
This is not to say that HM will NEVER be approved in the US; just look for it to be approved a good 2-3 years AFTER it is approved in the UK or certain countries in Europe, because of our homegrown megalomaniacs in the American HT industry mucking around with the FDA.
So if you can’t do all the above, you’ll just have to wait maybe 2-3 extra years while HM IS COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE SOMEWHERE ELSE… while the Brits, Germans, French, etc. are getting HM, and YOU’RE still balding…
A wonderful country we live in, no?
God Bless America!