In the past year, the FDA has issued five warnings to U.S. cosmetic practitioners regarding the purchase and sale of counterfeit Botox. In September 2012 the agency ordered Canada Drugs to stop selling fake Botox and other drugs through its network of 4,100 websites.
Canadian Supplier Linked to Fake Botox
Canadian medical supplier Canada Drugs has been linked to the sale and distribution of fake Botox, as well as erectile dysfunction drugs Levitra and Viagra, acne treatment Accutane and the cancer drugs Avastin and Altuzan. Authorities recently seized over $11.5 Million worth of varying counterfeit drugs possibly including fake Botox, many of which have been traced back to the firm. Canada Drugs has been at the center of numerous FDA warning letters in the past year that advised clinics across America against the use of these medications.
In addition, the supplier, its subsidiaries and related businesses have been ordered to stop marketing their fake Botox and other products to American practitioners and to shut down over 4,100 pharmaceutical websites. The FDA went directly to the U.S. and Australia-based internet registrars that host 3,700 of these sites to request they be voluntarily suspended. The FDA’s action was part of Internet Action Week, a global effort involving international law enforcement and regulatory agencies from about 100 countries. Despite these repeated warnings, Canada Drugs continues to operate and distribute its products over the Internet. An FDA investigation is ongoing.
FDA Issues Fake Botox Warning to 350 U.S. Physicians
As of December 19, 2012 the Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning letter to more than 350 medical practices that they have or may have received doses of the drug commonly known as Botox that may be contaminated or otherwise unsafe. The FDA warns that clinics turn to purchasing illegal forms of Botox (fake Botox) treatments because they are significantly cheaper than approved versions that are manufactured in America and carry the FDA seal, allowing these physicians to beat the prices offered by competitors. However, because these medicines come from uncertified suppliers, there is no way to verify their safety and effectiveness. “Frankly, I’m shocked at the extent of the problem,” says Simon Ourian, M.D., Medical Director of Epione Beverly Hills. “I never expected that any of my colleagues in Beverly Hills would be on the FDA list but there they were.”
Operation Pangea and Organized Crime
International police agency Interpol is cracking down on the grey market Internet pharmacies with its Operation Pangea. In 2012 Interpol seized 6,700 shipments of pharmaceuticals and shut down 18,000 internet pharmacy websites. A spokesman for the FDA’s office of criminal investigations said that internet pharmacies are an area ripe for organized crime.
Did Your Doctor Purchase Fake Botox? Check Here.
Over 350 clinics have been notified and their respective doctors are listed at the following link.
Please check here to ensure that your doctor is not among those implicated. If your doctor is not listed at the above site, but you suspect that they are using counterfeit treatments, contact the FDA’s Department of Criminal Investigations. Click to view Epione’s six-point checklist for Botox.