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December 25, 2012

Fake Botox Being Sold to US Physicians: FDA Sends Warning

It is not just patients trying to save money when purchasing medications from online pharmacies located in Canada. It's doctors as well when it comes to expensive drugs like Botox made by Allergan which costs a physician practice $550 per vial (2012 price)... but if purchased from Canada, may cost hundreds less.

Unfortunately, just like prescription drugs purchased outside the US, foreign-purchased Botox may be a product that is potentially unapproved, counterfeit, unsafe, or ineffective. Indeed, medical practices that purchase and administer such illegally obtained and unapproved medications from foreign sources are placing patients at risk and potentially depriving them of proper treatment.

To address this dangerous practice, the FDA has alerted more than 350 medical practices that they may have received unapproved medications, including unapproved versions of Botox from foreign-based suppliers, especially from Canada.

Disclaimer! Our practice has ALWAYS purchased Botox directly from Allergan, the maker of Botox, and have never purchased Botox from a third party supplier, whether US-based or not, past and present.

The ones the FDA specifically listed on a watch-list of sorts under the umbrella of online Canada Drugs include:
  • Quality Specialty Products (QSP)
  • A+ Health Supplies
  • QP Medical
  • Bridewater Medical
  • Clinical Care
Per the FDA, "many, if not all, of the products sold and distributed by these suppliers have not been approved by FDA. Therefore, FDA cannot confirm that the manufacture and handling of these products follow U.S. regulations or that these medications are safe and effective for their intended uses."

The FDA has also publicly released the names of physicians and physician groups who have purchased from these online sources... public humiliation in order to persuade a change?

However, it may not be just public humiliation, but even jail-time for one physician in a particularly egregious case (Botox not meant for human use was deliberately and knowingly injected).

It's not just doctors, but even medical institutions on the list (ie, University of SW Texas Medical Center).

Source:
Letters to Doctors about Risks of Purchasing Unapproved Versions of Botox and Other Medications from Foreign or Unlicensed Suppliers. FDA 12/19/12

FDA warns doctors of counterfeit Botox. Fox News 12/24/12
Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids. Google+ Christopher Chang, MD Bio

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