One of the reasons Botox is so popular with patients is how quickly and easily the procedure can be administered, compared to more invasive alternatives. But Botox is not simple and easy to produce, make no mistake – the product is made according to rigorous specifications and undergoes stringent quality control before it reaches the consumer.
Well, the official product, anyway.
The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning to be on the lookout for counterfeit Botox. “FDA cannot confirm that the manufacture, quality, storage, and handling of these products follow U.S. standards,” said the agency, according to this Reuters article.
How to spot the difference
The product, which the FDA says is being sold under the names “Online Botox Pharmacy,” “Onlinebotox.com” and “Onlinebotox,” is being shipped from foreign sources, and is not approved for sale in the United States. Despite the name, most of these products are being solicited via fax.
Allergan, the makers of Botox, said that besides breaking federal law, the fraudulent Botox’s contents and the conditions of its storage and handling can’t be vouched for, making it potentially ineffective, or worse, unsafe.
Lawmakers are hard at work writing bills that would better track and oversee what prescription drugs are moving through the distribution chain. In the meantime, if you’re interested in Botox, but are wary of counterfeit product, feel free to bring up your concerns with your plastic surgeon during your consultation. As a patient, it’s your right and your duty to be as informed as possible before undergoing any procedure. A long-practiced, board-certified surgeon will be happy to put your fears to rest and make you feel comfortable with the product they make available.