Allergan sees Europe implant gains after scandal

PHOTO: Allergan sees Europe implant gains after scandal

SAN FRANCISCO - Allergan Inc's chief executive said he expects surgeons replacing faulty breast implants made by France's now-defunct Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) to use implants made by Allergan and Johnson & Johnson instead.

"One-third of the European market is made up of non-US companies," Chief Executive David Pyott said in an interview on Wednesday. "The FDA is held in high regard in Europe and there are only two companies that sell (implants) on the US market, Allergan and J&J. I think we'll see some share shifts in Europe."

He said he expected Allergan to capture "a good amount" of that share, but declined to provide an estimate.

Smaller makers of breast implants are likely to be hurt by the scandal amid an increased concern about quality, Pyott added.

PIP sold 300,000 implants worldwide before going bankrupt. Between 5 million and 10 million women worldwide have had breast implant surgery.

Health officials have sounded mixed messages and recommendations about whether PIP implants should be removed. For example, German health officials have advised women with implants made by PIP to have them taken out, saying reports from doctors had shown they might constitute a health risk, while Britain's Department of Health said it had found no evidence to warrant the routine removal of the implants.