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When products are as expensive as Botox, Dysport, Juvederm and Voluma, unscrupulous characters crawl out of the woodwork wanting to make money by selling discounted products acquired by questionable means. If you hang out by our fax machine, you’ll see offers rolling in from mysterious companies posing as legitimate distributors offering bargain basement prices on Botox and other injectables imported from China and Mexico.
Just so you know, this is illegal and we report these offers before we shred them. But they look so legitimate, we had to research whether some physicians, either out of ignorance or greed, are actually buying this stuff. And the answer is unfortunately, yes.
The FDA agrees with our concern about this practice and has issued several warnings about fraudulent Botox and Fillers being distributed in the United States.
So what can you do to protect yourself?
1. Always go to a reliable Board-certified plastic surgeon for your injectable wrinkle treatments. Be skeptical about getting your treatments from non-core physicians (family practice, gynecologists, dentists, etc.)
2. Stay away from “Botox parties”, spas or non-medical setting for your treatments.
3. Ask your physician’s office how they get their product.
4. Ask to look at the actual packaging of the product they are using. Not many people ever do this but they should. Botox has a hologram on each bottle which protects against counterfeits.
Good to know- When the FDA clears a product, it also grants the distributor a federal license for sale and use in the United States. Products that are not purchased through the FDA- approved distributor may be counterfeit and pose a health risk. More to the point, federal law prohibits non–FDA-approved drug importation. Botox, for example, is shipped frozen. Deviations in the strict manufacturing, storage, and transportation procedures can’t be a good thing.
Here are the FDA-approved distributors for the most popular injectable treatments:
Botox, Juvederm and Juvederm Voluma: Allergan
Dysport and Restylane: Galderma
Radiesse and Xeomin: Merz