François Fournier Out As Galderma USA President

Galderma USA President Francois Fournier. Photo by Elizabeth Lavin.
Galderma USA President Francois Fournier. Photo by Elizabeth Lavin.

UPDATE: From Galderma spokeswoman Virginie Naigeon:

Francois Fournier has decided to leave his position as president of Fort Worth-based Galderma Laboratories, L.P.   The company most recently announced the FDA approval of Mirvaso for the topical treatment of the facial erythema (redness) of rosacea.  “I am proud to have completed the successful launch of Mirvaso, a game-changer in the treatment of patients suffering from rosacea. However, after an amazing 13 years with Galderma, I have decided it is time to pursue other professional opportunities and move on to the next phase of my career. This is not a decision that I have taken lightly and with the launch of Mirvaso and many interesting and exciting products to come, I am as confident as ever in the future of Galderma.” 

François Fournier is no longer the president of Fort Worth-based pharmaceutical company Galderma U.S.A., just weeks after the company’s new rosacea drug Mirvaso hit the streets.

The move was announced via internal announcement Monday, Galderma spokeswoman Virginie Naigeon confirmed. She added that the company’s doctors had not yet been told, but would be later this week. A replacement has not yet been announced.

Mirvaso was touted by Fournier as a kind of wonder drug, temporarily removing the redness associated with rosacea.

“I think it’s important for me to reinforce that 16 million people have rosacea in the U.S.” he told D Healthcare Daily earlier this month. “It’s an inflammatory and vascular disease. It’s a chronic disease. And most of them have erythema and this product will bring a solution. There is a big market, they have a lot of patients suffering. Before this product, there was no product working.”

But since the product’s release, results have been mixed. Online rosacea message boards have roundly attacked the product, saying that the rebound flushing caused by the drug was worse than the initial redness itself.

“I’m nine days since my last Mirvosa application, and I am still feeling the bad effects from use,” wrote one user. “I used a very small amount for three days, on my nose mostly, spreading it out to my cheeks, but the rebound is affecting my whole face, including my chin, which never flushes. I’m starting to believe that the rebound is over, and that this is going to be a permanent deterioration of my condition due to the inflammation I experienced after I stopped use.”

Francois said he expected to roll out Misvaso internationally in the coming months. It is unclear whether the ouster had anything to do with Mirvaso’s side effects.

The 46-year-old French citizen has helmed the North American region of the Swiss pharma company since June 2009. Galderma focuses exclusively on dermatological products, including the successful Cetaphil line of over-the-counter lotions and skin-care products.

More information, including the company’s next president, will be announced later this week, Naigeon said.

67 comments on “François Fournier Out As Galderma USA President

  1. We have not seen a rebound effect in our patients thus far. It is still early but patients appear to be responding amazingly well to the product. There is nothing else like it on the market. Rosacea patients in general tend to have sensitive skin.

    Reply
    • Dr Bowers, I have experienced a terrible rebound effect using Mirvaso. My face is (subjectively evaluated of course) 2 times redder than it was prior to using Mirvaso. I only know experienced painful flushing out of nowhere, seemingly untriggered. The flushes last for 3 – 8 hours so far. Responding amazingly – yes. Side effects – yes – major for me. Although the flushing and rebound is starting to very slowly subside on my 3rd day of NOT applying Mirvaso. If my example and the online reviews are a good representative sample, then your patients are either not reporting the side effects or maybe they haven’t tried to stop applying the cream. For me, the flushes were worse when I was applying the medication but the redness is so much worse now after having used it. Catch 22. Ugh.

      Reply
      • Do not use this medicine. My face is worse than before. Increased redness and flushing. Stopped using for six days now and my face is still not back to normal!

        Reply
    • Dr Bowers is a paid consultant by Galderma, although a good derm can’t rely on her “feedback”. I was taken to her office with other trainees to learn from her at Galderma’s expense. Listen to the users, not Dr Bowers.

      Reply
      • Suspicious of your claim, I googled your name only to find absolutely nothing. Regardless, Even if true, being a ‘paid consultant’ doesn’t mean the medical doctor cannot be trusted. User reviews, on the other hand, as anecdotal evidence, should be taken with a grain of salt. Many people on the rosacea forums seem to be prone to conspiracy theory type thinking. The anti-science crap they spew is comical in light of their credulity when it comes to pseudoscience.

        Reply
    • People like you have no soul. I’m sorry but I think its clear to see, this is a horrible product. I cannot believe Galderma owns Doctors souls. This is no miracle. Its another dermatology disappointment. NO cure for Acne. NO cure for Rosacea but hey, you are desperate so heres something to make money for us. Might as well be stuck in 1984. MIrvaso WRECKED my skin. At first it worked like a godsend. Then it destroyed my complexion. I look like a bottle of tomato ketchup

      Reply
    • I got banned from this forum by David Pascoe for saying negative things about Mirvaso and telling the truth .
      I wouldn’t trust this guy and I wouldn’t believe a word he has to say about this matter .

      Reply
  2. Rosacea patients with moderate to severe flushing, burning and redness issues, please read the posts on Mirvaso on The Rosacea Forum before trying this stuff. The wide majority of people get pale, then get massive rebound flushing and redness, way worse than before using this cream and lasting for days and some weeks, in fact, some are STILL dealing with the rebound and unsure when it will calm down again. I know from inside that Mirvaso has been told about the rebound problem, my professor for one informed them (see link below, I tried its active ingredient brimonidine in 2010 in the same % as in the Mirvaso and it was a nightmare, pics included). Prof asked them during the trials if they considered this side effect and they brushed it right off. Not even been on the radar for them it seems. “Wonder drug”, right… It needed a quick launch if you ask us on the forum. Good journalism here to pick up on that, to VIRGINIE NAIGEON: please can you do some research into whether or not Galderma ever took the reports and warnings from inside out (ppl on the boards) serious regarding this rebound? It seems they ignored it once it was brought up to them and they added exactly nothing to the active ingredient apart from neutral fillers and carriers and a preservative.

    http://scarletnat.blogspot.fr/2012/08/the-brimonidine-trial-it-was-not-what-i.html

    Reply
  3. Ow, I think it’s normal, Mirvaso is just a scam for us, sufferer of rosacea. Extreme rebound flushing in more than 9/10 patient. And personnaly my face is just destroy now.. Mirvaso isn’t a miracle, it’s just a scam who os going to destroy your face. NEVER USE IT !!

    Reply
  4. Rosacea patients with moderate to severe flushing, burning and redness issues, please read the posts on Mirvaso on The Rosacea Forum before trying this stuff. The wide majority of people get pale, then get massive rebound flushing and redness, way worse than before using this cream and lasting for days and some weeks, in fact, some are STILL dealing with the rebound and unsure when it will calm down again. This rebound was brought to the attention of Galderma from inside the boards but ignored as it seems now.
    http://scarletnat.blogspot.fr/2012/08/the-brimonidine-trial-it-was-not-what-i.html

    Reply
  5. I, too, tried Mirvaso about a week ago and had the same awful effects: horrendous, bright red rebound flushing unlike anything I ever had in the past 15 years! The product worked great at first and then I noticed a terrible hot, inflamed redness on my cheeks and nose at around hour 5 after application that lasted about 1.5 hours. A ton of make-up did little to cover it up. I am stunned this product was approved as I am very concerned about the long lasting affects. I have not used Mirvaso in three days and am continuing to flush badly and have all around redness that is worse than prior to using Mirvaso. Very Disappointing!!!

    Reply
    • Hi Amanda,
      How are you doing now? Did the rebound effect subside? I’m horrified! I never flushed the way I’m flushing. I had very mild rosacea. I wish I would’ve done my research before I started on this. I trusted my dermatologist and I’m paying for it pretty badly. I’m not sure what to do. I need some advice.

      Reply
    • Amanda, I would have to agree with your response. I have been using Mirvaso for a few weeks now. Doc also put me on mild antibiotic and promiseb cream. Mirvaso worked well the first couple days and thought i had finally found a great product. But a few days in as it would wear off…blotchy red patches would appear unevenly on my cheeks and forehead and sometimes just my nose. I would put more on and after a couple of hours it would subside. I workout 4 or 5 nights a week and this is where I experience the worst embarrassment of all…within a couple of minutes of my first set the redness attacks my face! Extremely red and very hot! I become the “attraction” to see after that…all eyes on my red head. I have also noticed that my face is very sensitive to heat…even my normal body heat that rises from my shirt or hoodie. Did not experience this before at all! Because of this i have taken a break from the gym…after reading these comments, i guess i will stop using this product and hope for a quick recovery from the extreme flushing!! Good luck to all for some relief of the redness!!

      Reply
  6. It surprises me that in a press release after a trial prior to the launch of Mirvaso, Galderma said there was no rebound effect.
    A lot of forum members already wondered what they did to prevent rebound.
    Nothing it seems.

    Reply
    • Its not rocket science to see that Mirvasos strength is too strong .
      Why didn’t they make something half the strength that could have been used for special occasions . Less use equals less rebounds .
      Its truly unbelievable that this is what they come up with after 8 years working on it .

      Reply
  7. This is an absolute disgrace. This matter should be reviewed again by the fda as the companies trails are obviously false. I have been watching the progress of this product for years. Many people trailed the active ingredient in this product prior to its fda approval with very bad side affects. I am actually in amazement as to how they thought this was going to work.
    6 years us rosacea suffers have been waiting for this drug that was going to help our condition and this is what we get??
    Simply not good enough!!!!

    Reply
  8. I am having un predictable flushing like I never experienced ever before using Mirvaso. I spoke to a nurse at Galderma who took my information and sent me a questionnaire. I too am afraid this condition of flushing could become permanent. I t comes out of nowhere as I have been applying at the same time every day and have not done anything different on the flushing days as on the non flushing days.

    I am discontinuing use of Mirvaso all together and will stay in touch with my doctor about the unusual, unpredictable and un timely flushing.

    Reply
    • I haven’t heard one person say anything good about Mirvaso yet . Everyone says the same thing about the rebounding . I just cant see this product ever getting released outside the US .Galderma you need to come clean now about the so called trials .

      Reply
      • I have used mirvaso ONE TIME. 3 days later i am still experiencing terrible rebound flushing. I’m a real person. Moderate Rosacea (no bumps just redness and scaly skin) sufferer for ten years. Here’s a log i’ve been keeping if you’re interested:

        10/24 – 2pm – Visit with new dermatologist. Derm prescribed Permethrin and I asked for Mirvaso. Derm believes i may have high demodex amounts because of rough skin on forehead. He believes this may also contribute to facial redness. I am to use permethrin twice daily for a month and mirvaso once daily and then follow up.
        5pm- wash face with cerave. dried face. Applied Mirvaso. Took special care to apply evenly.
        5:30pm – Face looks terrible. I looked like a leopard some areas are way whiter than usual some areas are way redder than usual.
        6:30pm – Face actually looks incredible. It was nice to see how i could look after dealing with facial redness for so long. To be honest i was amazed at the results.
        10:30pm – Bedtime. Face is even whiter than at 6:30. At this point i’m so hopeful that i’ve been cured.
        10/25/13 3:30am – Woke up because i was paranoid about going to work using mirvaso. Face looks good. Whew!
        4:30am – Cerave shower. Went back to bed.
        6:30am – Wake up again. Cheeks are more flushed than i’ve ever seen in my entire life.
        8am – Redness down to half dollar size on left cheek. I sat out on porch in cold (40 degrees) to help calm down redness and then drove 15 minutes ina cold car to work. Redness reduced from being in cold for a bit.
        12pm – Don’t feel very flushed. Right side is redder than baseline and so is forehead.
        4pm – Was outside in cold (40 degrees) for half hour. Face looks good. Slightly red on right side.
        5pm – took nap. woke up Left side of face is EXTREMELY flushed.
        6pm – took shower with cerave. Applied to permethrin to entire face. Not using mirvaso ever again.
        7pm – face looks not flushed. Better than baseline.
        7:30pm – terrible flush. Worse than before. Worst of entire life.
        10/26/13 10am – Flushed on both cheeks. slightly less flushed but still more than baseline.

        I applied permethrin again to entire face was flushed for the rest of the day. took shower with cerave at 6pm and continued to have really bad flushing. Didn;t apply permethrin again didn’t apply mirvaso again.

        Woke up this morning (10/27/13) and face is still more flushed than baseline.

        So i understand that i’m using to creams here but i believe mirvaso is the cause of my recurrent flushing. I’m going to stop using both and check back in with results.

        My thoughts are that when mirvaso kicks in ( about 90 – 120 minutes after application, it’s phenomenal. After about 12 hours i as more flushed than ever. The prescription says to only use once a day. It;s just not practical. i would have to wake up 2 hours before work and then not leave my place after the 12 hour span…

        I hope this rebound flushing stops soon. maybe as this product gets developed more they’ll think of better dosing or something?

        Reply
  9. I’m on day 3 off this stuff, Im FIRE ENGINE RED. I am a model and this is going to affect my work. I’m fuming mad. I have to use it for a photo shoot in 3 days just so I can get through the day and subject myself to more BURNING HOT disgusting looking skin. Unacceptable !!!!!

    Reply
  10. I have starting to feel the rebound effect of Mirvaso around the 10th day of usage. It didn’t occur to me that it was a bad adverse effect so I continued using for another 2 weeks. The flushes seemed to come out of nowhere and I typically wake up with redness on my face (something I have never experienced before). This is my 2nd day of not using the product so I’m hoping this effect will go away after discontinuation. I already called the FDA and Galderma to report this bad effect. Hopefully more people will aware and carefully consider this rebound effect before using this product on their face.

    Reply
  11. Heres my story: by the way, err, I am a real person lol. Because I know people are gonna think i’m not because I actually had a good expierence. I’m shocked by these reviews, I had no idea people were rebounding so bad. And I feel sorry for them, I hope there face returns to “normal.” :(

    I have been using mirvaso for three weeks:

    I apply it quite generously, more than a pea sized amount for sure. I put this on in the morning just on my cheeks. It starts working after ten minutes for me, and is at it’s full effect by an hour.

    My face doesn’t turn ghostly white like some peoples, it just takes the redness out and makes my red cheeks blend in with the rest of my face.

    I felt no burning, rebound, etc, and I have very sensitive skin.

    First time I used it the effects lasted about 8 hours, by the two week mark( which is it’s official time mark for it to stark working) I had gotten redness relief for over 12 hours.

    Towards the end of the time, my face tingles, like someone numbed it. It’s hardly noticeable and doesn’t bother me.

    After it has worn off my face, my cheeks become red again, but their better! At least 50-70% better than before. I have not had a problem with rebounding.

    Either way i’m sorry that so many people are expierencing bad results. I just thought i’d give my honest review, because it is a miracle for me.

    Reply
  12. I am the person who was quoted in the above press release. I used Mirvaso for 3 days, at which point I stopped after terrible flushing. It has now been 5 1/2 weeks since I’ve used it, and my face is still much more red, reactive, flushy and hot. This cream ruined me. I honestly don’t even know how to move forward, as my baseline condition is now one of discomfort every day. I am having a lot of difficulty getting through this. I am in disbelief that something with the potential to cause this much damage was approved by the FDA. I filed a report.

    Reply
  13. Can anyone please tell me how to treat this rebound flushing? It is wayyyyy worse than the redness before I started using Mirvaso. I haven’ used it in 2 days. I am thinking of using a cortisone cream for a couple of days to stop the inflammation! Horrible stuff!

    Reply
  14. Mirvaso has really helped me. I usually mix it with some sunscreen before applying (recommended by my Dr). No problems after about 5 wks of use.

    Reply
  15. I’ve been using a Mirvaso mixture (1 part Mirvaso, 2 parts moisturizer and 1 part benedryl) before I apply it. The combination works great!. Give it a try. i think you’ll agree. Good luck!!

    Reply
  16. i started using it at the beginning of November, I am very pale, but I never had problems of flushing or bright red skin or pain or stinging skin. at te first 2 weeks Mirvaso worked great, but since Monday, my whole face, even the forehead that I never had any rosace, is red like a red pepper, and i have bumps on it, it is swolen and my skin is painful. i am really scared, and I do know what to do. i feel my facestinging and hot like I have a fever. It feels like I have a 3rd degree sunburn. i use 100 sunscream everyday. i wish I had never used this product. i will go back to my derm next week and I will try laser treatment this time. Someone knows how long this rebound last?

    Reply
  17. I have struggled with some redness on my cheeks. This week I went to a new Dermatologist and she told me about Mirvaso and gave me some samples. Man was I astonished thinking it was a miracle til i got the rebound flushing or whatever its called. Its horrible. My face feels and looks sunburned and so at first I put some more on and it disappeared and I thought maybe a one time event. Now I have decided I wish I had never heard of this product or used it. I will not use it anymore and am waiting for the redness to subside. Its awful and I look terrible and am totally ashamed of my face now. This “10%” number seems to be a lie. I am hearing its way higher between 70-100%. Some folks are saying after a week its still bad so I am totally freaking out. The Dr never even mentioned this side effect. I had to google it. I say dont use this!

    Reply
  18. Do not use this product!!!!!!! I used this for 4 days and now an on my third day of not applying it and still am having horrific rebound flushing!!! Flushing on forehead and chin as well as nose and cheeks. Never flushed on forehead and chin before. It is terrible! I am terrified after reading previous posts that this is now permanent and will not subside!

    Reply
  19. My Rosacae was pretty mild with occasional red nose especially with coffee alchohol etc. anyway I loved Minerva at first, my face was so pale and I didn’t have to wear powder on my nose at all! however 3 weeks on and I start to notice blotches on my cheeks and nose,,,so I kept using it to get rid of them,. It did not it made it all so much worse. Now I look like a COMEDY ROSACEA CLOWN, just red nose and cheeks ALL THE TIME! I can’t believe it and really worried that it won’t go away. I have STOPPED Minerva 4 days now. From having mild redness I now look ridiculous and no amount of powder will cover it up! HELP, in previous years I have done IpL which is expensive but so is Minerva at $50 a tube. I think I’ll save up and go back to IpL . I am hoping this crazy redness will disappear,

    Reply
    • I’ve been using Mirvaso mixed with a moisturizer (1 part mirvaso with 3 parts moisturizer) and it’s worked great. The combination works great. Give it a try. i think you’ll agree. Good luck!!

      Reply
  20. My derm recommended Mirvaso, telling me it was a new product. I don’t have very bad rosacea, reddish cheeks and I flush sometimes. I really didn’t want to use anything on my face because my skin is so sensitive. But….I tried it. I am SO mad now. I used it for 6 days. On day 4 my face was flaming red like a really bad sunburn. The next afternoon it looked better. Another day goes by and I wake up with a few pimples (haven’t had those in years ! I’m 53). So I didn’t use it today and this afternoon and evening my face is once again Bright Red !! I called the company and they are sending me a questionnaire. I will be calling my derm too. I am annoyed with her for suggesting this garbage ! You trust the doctor and the medical professionals…I get something to make the red go away and it does the opposite ! I am pissed !!

    Reply
  21. Still doing fabulous with Mirvaso. Took Emily’s advice (above) and it really works. Eventually, I think that people will figure out a way to have Mirvaso work for them too. Everyone’s different.

    Reply
  22. Emily and Jimmi probably work for Galderma .The reality is that this mirvaso is a walking disaster and the word on the street is it will never get approved anywhere else outside the US. Galderma you have failed miserably with this product and you should be ashamed of yourselves getting peoples hopes up for nothing .

    Reply
  23. I am 5 week post mirvaso and I’m still way more red than before. I now get flushing out of no where and I never flushed before. I can’t even have one sip of alcohol withouy my face flaring up. I also have ocular rosacea now which started Right after mirvaso. I’m so depressed I can’t even stand it. I feel stuck in my skin. And now afraid to do things cause my face starts to burn out of no where. I want to sue this company I’m soooo pissed and utterly sad.

    Reply
    • I’ve been using Mirvaso mixed with a moisturizer (1 part mirvaso with 3 parts moisturizer) and it’s worked great. The combination works great. Give it a try. i think you’ll agree. Good luck!!

      Reply
    • Mark my words people .
      Mirvaso will go down in history as the biggest disaster that was ever released to treat Rosacea .Who ever approved this product must have done it for financial gain .Shame on Galderma and shame on the doctors who prescribe it .

      Reply
  24. 2 days on Mirvaso and all of a sudden my face, ears , forehead begin to flush for no reason, this has never happended before and it looks like a bad red rash, Im NEVER using this stuff ever again, did the opposite what it claims, totally disgusted…I have never flushed like this before, product has damaged my skin, I am going to file with the FDA

    Reply
  25. I’ve been using Mirvaso mixed with a moisturizer (1 part mirvaso with 3 parts moisturizer) and it’s worked great. The combination works great. Give it a try. i think you’ll agree. Good luck!!

    Reply
      • You are 100% right Sam they both work for Galderma .
        The brass neck of these people after all the misery and suffering they have inflicted on people with this disaster they call Mirvaso .
        It makes me so angry. If you have any integrity left Galderma , put your hand up and admit you got it so wrong with this product so we can all move on .

        Reply
  26. Does anyone else have daily flushing months post mirvaso? I’d u do or did..does it go away. I’m miserable. And I never used to flush

    Reply
    • I’ve been using Mirvaso mixed with a moisturizer (1 part mirvaso with 3 parts moisturizer) and it’s worked great. The combination works great. Give it a try. i think you’ll agree. Good luck!!

      Reply
    • Yes, I stopped using the cream about three months ago and I still have daily flushing and a burning hot sensation to my skin that is very uncomfortable. I never had anything like this before I used mirvaso. My face is two shades pinker than it was before I used the cream. I’m scared that this is permanent and I can’t believe this cream was ever approved by the FDA. It has caused me pain, embarrassment and so much anxiety. I’m praying it will lessen with time or that laser treatments will be able to help. My skin is wrecked!

      Reply
  27. I started using Mirvaso a over week ago. The first couple of days were fine. I can’t remember seeing my face without redness. I truly was so happy.
    One morning my daughter accidentally took my face powder with her leaving me with no makeup. I was uncomfortable to go to work without makeup but my skin was a natural creamy beige thanks to Mirvaso without any makeup.
    If this would have happened before I would have stopped at a cornerstone to by any type of cover up for my face.
    I noticed a red mark on my neck but didn’t know where it came from or how I got it.
    Fast forward another day and I have severe redness and burning on my face, mainly my cheeks. I also have redness on my neck where Mirvaso was not applied. That small red area I had seen on my neck was from the Mirvaso.
    I really wanted this cream to work. I am so tired of having to cover up my face before I go out in public.
    Now my face is the worst I’ve ever seen it.

    Reply
  28. It has been one month since I stopped using mirvaso.i still have a red,burning stinging face.this product is a nightmare and should be banned.i just pray that I don’t have to live with a painful red face for the rest of my life.

    Reply
  29. mirvaso seemed like a miracle for my skin for a couple of days. it quickly stopped being effective and the first day i didn’t use it my face flushed so badly it felt and looked like it had burned itself from the inside out. eventually my doctor put me on prednisone to try to heal the damage and it worked. as much as i do not like having to resort to prednisone because of its side effects, i recommend discussing it with your doctor if the damage from mirvaso persists. my insurance company has stopped covering mirvaso also, which makes me curious. good luck, all.

    Reply

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