On Friday, the FDA posted an alert about counterfeit vials of Botox® found in the United States. Such fraudulent drugs have a risk of being unsafe, ineffective, contaminated, improperly stored, and improperly transported.
The fake Botox comes in counterfeit packaging, while the vial inside is labeled as a foreign version of the drug. An unlicensed foreign supplier, which isn’t part of the normal distribution chain, is reportedly selling the counterfeit. The seller is reportedly soliciting the drugs via fax under names like “Onlinebotox” and “Onlinebotox.com,” according to Reuters.
“FDA cannot confirm that the manufacture, quality, storage, and handling of these products follow U.S. standards,” said the warning on the agency’s website.
This isn’t the first time the FDA has publicly cracked down on “illegal Botox scammers.” Investigations that began in 2004 resulted in 29 arrests and 31 convictions against people who knowingly used the counterfeit medication.
High Consumer Demand Attracts Scam Artists
Botox® Cosmetic is not quickly or easily produced. The product is made according to rigorous specifications and undergoes stringent quality control before it ever reaches the consumer.
But, like many items with high consumer demand, Botox® is a target for counterfeit makers who would love to usurp the profit of Allergan’s most popular medication. To protect yourself, it’s best to work with a provider who is familiar with the drug. Cosmetic surgeons have been buying and administering Botox for over a decade, so they’re not typically lured in by these scams.