World and Nation

Shorts (left)

Company That Sells Botox, Has Product for Your Eyelashes

Allergan, the company that turned an obscure muscle paralyzer for eyelid spasms, Botox, into a blockbuster wrinkle smoother, hopes to perform cosmetic alchemy yet again. At the end of the month, the company plans to introduce Latisse, the first federally approved prescription drug for growing longer, lusher lashes.

The product has the same formula as Allergan’s eye drops for glaucoma, called Lumigan. It is one of several drugs in a category known as prostaglandin analogs, which are meant to reduce dangerous pressure in the eyeball. But as a side effect, the treatment tends to make the eyelashes of many patients longer and fuller. Some medical experts say they worry that cosmetic customers may occasionally experience some of the glaucoma drug’s other, less desirable side effects, which can include red, itchy eyes and changes in eyelid pigmentation. Some financial analysts, meanwhile, wonder how many people will be willing to spend $120 for a monthly dose of lash-lengthening Latisse.

Broker Tied to Madoff Skips Hearing in Mass.

Even if Robert Jaffe had shown up Tuesday for his scheduled deposition before the Massachusetts Securities Division, he probably would not have answered any questions about alleged swindler Bernard L. Madoff, a securities lawyer said.

Jaffe, a registered broker who for years raised money for Madoff, was supposed to appear before state regulators Tuesday morning, under subpoena. His spokesman said: “Bob is under doctor’s care. The secretary of state had been informed of this and had agreed to an adjournment.”

The spokesman, Elliot Sloane, said that Jaffe’s condition was not serious, but that his lawyers had made Secretary of State William F. Galvin aware Jaffe would not appear.

Brian McNiff, a spokesman for Galvin, said, “The Securities Division is preparing to enforce the subpoena and to take all other necessary actions to protect Massachusetts investors.”

Jaffe is under scrutiny for his role at Cohmad Securities Corp., a brokerage firm on the same floor of the same midtown Manhattan office building as Madoff’s. Cohmad, which also had an office in Boston’s Back Bay, counts Madoff among its officers.

Jaffe is currently in Palm Beach.

Some States in a Pinch May Raise Gasoline Tax

Several states are considering the rare step of raising gasoline taxes to help fill growing budget gaps and potholed roads. Politicians in California, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Illinois and Oregon, for example, are introducing bills that would raise gasoline taxes for road and bridge repair, as state legislatures around the country begin their new sessions.

In Iowa, top legislators in both houses would support an increase. And in Ohio, a state task force last week recommended raising the gas tax by 13 cents a gallon.

“I’ve opposed virtually every revenue enhancer in terms of tax increases up to this point,” said John E. Bradley, a Illinois state representative who is chairman of the House Revenue Committee.

This year, he is introducing a bill with a motor-fuel surcharge of 8 cents a gallon. He was persuaded to change his stance, he said, because of the urgent needs of Illinois roads and highways.