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Injectable Treatments: Botox & Filler Injections > Purchasing Botox & Restylane from Canada: legal or not?

Is it legal for a US practitioner to purchase Botox or Restylane from Canada outside the US, where the price is much cheaper than purchasing directly from Medicis? Does Medicis or Allergan have the right to call and harass you about buying Botox or Restylane from other distributors?

03.16 | Unregistered CommenterMD
While I can't answer your questions from a legal stand point, I'd first say that Medicis or any other company would be foolish to call and harass a customer. I would not think harassment or threats are legal.

Restylane is made in Sweeden and sold all over the world. I purchase mine from Columbia. It's the same Restylane sold here in the US for triple the cost. Never had any problems with it. I was leary at first and even called the manufacturer to verify the batch #'s etc. All is legit.

Hope this helps..
Medicis owns the distribution rights for Restylane in the US. You can purchase from Canada so long as the item is FDA approved, however, if you purchase a lot of it, customs may scrutinize the item and not let it through. I have heard of this happening with people purchasing large quantities of expensive drugs such as retin-A.
06.16 | Unregistered CommentermspaOwner
I would love to hear about people's experience in purchasing either Botox or Restylane from across the border/abroad.
Poster aestheticRN has discussed buy her Restylane from Columbia. Please give specifics, so that I may contact those suppliers.
Thanks.
I have purchased restylane, perlane, and hylaform online from Canadian pharmacies numerous times. I have not have any complaints of the quality of the products, my complaints are the fillers don't last long enough in general. I am going to try and purchase the amazingel direct from China. Anyone else with info, please pass along. Anyone purchased Evolution anywhere? Or Bioform? Thanks, Charlene
09.14 | Unregistered CommenterCZM, RN
I guess I need to clarify that any and all products that I am purchasing over the border and for my own personal use. So I pucker up my plump lips and stick out my tongue at you! CZM, RN
09.22 | Unregistered CommenterCZM, RN

to patient. I have not purchased products from canada but if they are the same why not? why not make more money or pass the savings on.If we dont make a profit then we wont stay in business. this is the reason we need to have medical providers only on this site. Are you truly a patient or a medicis employee. What we need is a way to verify credentials on the site and remove everyone else. all the non medical personal on this site make it difficult to get good information.

04.2 | Unregistered Commenterslats

I agree that this site should be about exchange of information among professionals in the industry and any patents should stick to forums that help them understand what the product means to them not the aquisition or marketing of said products.

is it legal to sell botox injections from say south america to the us without a doctor's prescription for personal use?

thanks in advance for any help.

11.14 | Unregistered Commenternat

Nat,

100% illegal.

11.14 | Unregistered CommenterLH

to sell botox into the US, and many other countries, the buyer needs to provide:
-medical license
-prescription
or
-wholesale license

It is 100% legal to buy allergan botox from other countries! it may carry slightly different packaging, but the product is all the same, it's like going to another country and purchasing a cell-phone or any other piece of equipment, your local supplier of that equipment has no right to harass you about buying it "not from him" !!!
allegan botox is still verified by the ministry of health and the FDA upon arrival to the USA, and so is its authenticity.
it is safe and 100% legal, just make sure you are dealing with a legitimate supplier, (ask for lot/batch numbers!)
keep in mind that in case of fraud, credit card payments can be reversed by calling your CC company/provider and telling them that the product you've received is a fake and they will reverse the charges. with this said i remind all that botox and other products from other countries MAY contain different packaging, so do not get scared if they do, check the product and the manufacturer, and then act accordingly.

cheers

12.28 | Unregistered Commentervp

where are you getting these products from? i called allergan in canada and several pharmacies who told me I need to contact my US rep

12.28 | Unregistered Commenterlaserdoc

Well, obviously they will tell you that, why would you contact them??? it is a gray market!!! Allergan is interested in dealing with you through their rep, that way they make more money. you rep in the US will sell you the product at $525, but you can get it for $325.. it is the same product, just some companies deal specifically with overstock, that is why the prices are that low, not because the product is bad. Doctors in Canada pay their reps $375 per unit, and that is the market price, it is different in every country, depends on demand and other factors.

12.28 | Unregistered Commentervp

My Botox rep told me that Allergan will come in and shut your facility down if they think you are a US facility, buying and injecting Botox from a foreign company. I have no idea if this is true or if Allergan can actually do it - but it's what she said.

BS.
you live in a free country.
look at the above posts please

10.15 | Unregistered Commentervp

Oh, and @ Matt,
Tell your Allergan rep that she doesn't know what she's talking about. I'd like to have her name. Please publish it here.

Allergan could no more shut down a clinic than I can move into my neighbors house and throw them out. What fluff.

10.15 | Unregistered CommenterBotox DC

I'm pretty certain it's against U.S. law to import prescription medication from other countries. Most of the "get your drugs cheaper from Canada" shops have closed. This summer I tried to write a prescription in Canada for my father who forgot one of his BP meds on vacation and was told by the Canadian pharmacist that the laws have changed and he needed a script written by a Canadian physician. Several years ago I was getting some Botox and Restylane from a fellow physician in Canada only to have one of my Restylane shipments turned back by U.S. customs.

Regardless, I still might try to purchase some Botox from MAPA to boost the sagging bottom line. I don't want to cut out my U.S. rep completely because she takes care of us in other ways and it would be less suspicious than stopping all orders. We get Radiesse from our rep cheaper than offered by MAPA and the Juvederm is close.

10.15 | Unregistered CommenterNot Saying

Has anyone ever bought botox online from Canada?
I'm wondering if the products are legitimate and if the act of purchasing this (I'm a licensed physician) is illegal or not? The FDA website is not clear on this.

Inquisitive: If you use the search engine on this weblog you wil be able to locate some extensive discussions on this toipic which to0ok place earlier this year. It is a pretty complex issueand you will see a variety of opinions.

CosmeticsRX,

You need to prove to us that this is LEGAL in the United States.

05.21 | Unregistered CommenterLH

Thanks for you post.

I've spent many hours reading through FDA website looking for information. There is nothing out there that says clearly - this is against the law. The most I found was: FDA does not recommend purchasing drugs out of US due to safety concerns. Our pharmacy is registered with the FDA and thus under their radar at all times.

Here is some literature:

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, you can only import prescriptions into the U.S. that you can also obtain in the U.S. Drugs that the FDA has not yet approved cannot come into this country. You can import drugs approved by the FDA and available by prescription in the U.S., though the FDA cautions against the practice because it has no way of verifying the safety of the imported versions.

Read more: Laws on Importing Prescription Drugs Into the U.S | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/list_7282097_laws-importing-prescription-drugs-u_s.html#ixzz1N5kWpXzV

Here is from an FDA website: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm170594.htm
Does this look like a clear law?

FDA's Main Concern: Patient Safety

FDA cannot ensure the safety and effectiveness of products that are not FDA-approved and come from unknown sources and foreign locations, or that may not have been manufactured under proper conditions. These unknowns put patient’s health at risk if they cannot be sure of the products identity, purity, and source. For these reasons, FDA recommends only obtaining medicines from legal sources in the U.S.

The bottom line is that European & Canadian government regulate and control these prices and do not allow them to sky rocket. In the US, these prices are controlled by the Allergan and the government tries to stand by their side to "boost" our economy. At this point this is called "the grey area" and until (if ever) it is lawfully enforced, US doctors can take advantage of lower prices coming from the same respective manufacturer but distributed in the UK under UK-controlled price levels.

CosmeticsRX,

It is different if a consumer purchases it verses a physician. We as physicians have a lot more at risk as we can lose our license, be fined and possibly go to jail. Gray areas are just that. They are not well defined and it only takes one US attorney to want to make a name for themselves and they go after you and your life is hell. It is not worth it for me at this time. I had a friend get caught up in this "hell" and it nearly ruined him.

LH

05.22 | Unregistered CommenterLH

@ Cosmetics RX
Be it know that posting direct solicitations via the message boards is a violation of our terms and will result in them being removed and a possible IP ban.

Note: We are a world-wide community and service providers anywhere may advertise their services in the medical spa classified ads area: http://ad.medicalspamd.com

Will do, thanks for the information.

Has anyone ever bought botox online from in Canada?
I'm wondering if the products are legitimate and if the act of purchasing this (I'm a licensed physician) is illegal or not? The FDA website is not clear on this.

10.9 | inquisitive

I am a US born/bred/trained/licensed physician and have been ordering cosmetic products from Canada for several years and have been very satisfied. This is absolutely the same product and absolutely legal. I typically use 150 to 200 vials per year.

FYI My local Allergan rep. stopped by the office on several occasions perpetuating the the misinformation that purchasing Botox from outside the US is illegal.

11.15 | Unregistered Commenterdk

I own a medical spa in CA and I started ordering Botox from Canada a couple of years ago. I also order from Allergan in smaller quantities because my rep told me it was illegal to import Botox and that they and the federal government would shut down any company importing. I typically order about 4 vials per week from Canada. At first I was paying $349 per vial (the box and vial is exactly like the US version). Then I started ordering one where the box was in another language but the vial exactly like the US version for $299. I've never had a problem but am always nervous because I don't really know if it's illegal or not.

I'd like to note that the Botox is sent overnight and is actually housed in a warehouse about 20 minutes from my office (but they will not let me go pick it up). It is my understanding they have distribution warehouses all over the US.

Recently my rep called and told me she couldn't ship for about 6 weeks because they are moving their distribution center. This made me very nervous for some reason. I've researched other companies but haven't moved forward with it yet. It makes me nervous that they require an online registration with all of my information in order to register. Both companies required my medical directors medical license.

I have found the Botox to be the exact same and would recommend using them. I would just really like to know if it is illegal or not. I don't like feeling like I'm doing something wrong. I also don't like that Allergan US charges us $525 for a vial when I'm getting the same stuff for $299-$349 per vial. The FDA website states that it "RECOMMENDS NOT BUYING FROM FOREIGN COMPANIES" not that it's illegal to do so.

03.24 | Unregistered CommenterChabela106

Also: If any Botox rep or anyone else threatened or harassed me in my clinic, I'd kick their ass out the front door and post the entire incident here.

03.24 | Unregistered CommenterDermgal

hello everyone.. very interesting posts here! Pretty much threw out my Allergan rep today as she came to my office threatening to "turn me in" (to whom i am unsure?) I have been purchasing ALLERGAN BOTOX from a reliable and reputable pharmacy in Canada for over a year and know its exactly the same as US manufactured Botox but 1/2 the cost.

Looks like manufactured by Ireland affiliate and distributed through This canadian pharmacy. Bottles ar e completely lotted , stamped and hollogrammed.

Honestly, i felt very upset after this altercation and wondering if any of you out there have had same happen.? Also wondering legality of reps coming into offices and threatening physicians? My staff were told not to let this rep walk in front doors any longer and police will be called.

04.9 | Unregistered CommenterDD1971

I had the same thing happen with my rep and her District Manager. They told me importation from Canada was illegal. My response was for them to show me something in writing either from their attorneys or the FDA that states it's illegal to import "FDA approved" meds, manufactured outside the USA into the USA.

Of course, they never came back because nothing like that exists. I did receive a letter from Allergan US warning us that the importation of non FDA approved meds is illegal. Dah, Allergan, we all know that.

Now Allergan temporarily stopped Merz from rolling out Xeomin. I hate monopolies and Allergan is a beast that needs to be put into it's place. I had been buying Xeomin from Merz on the BYGO program that reduced the final price down to $212.50 a vial. Wish I could continue the program and will as soon as Merz figures out how to get the judge to come to his senses on his ruling.

Net, net is I can find no law or even interpretation of a ruling that forbids importing Botox (real Botox manufactured by Allergan in Ireland) into the US from Canada.

04.9 | Unregistered Commenternickal

Our Allergan rep explained that Botox vials are sold for the exact same price everywhere in the world, so how are they selling it for less in other countries?

04.10 | Unregistered Commenterskingem

@skingem, That is most obviously incorrect since I'm aware that my US colleagues pay much more.

04.10 | Unregistered CommenterAD Mond MD

Here is a link to the customs website discussing the imporation of drugs from another country:

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/320/~/purchasing-medications-from-a-supplier-outside-the-u.s

I just bought Botox from a licensed wholesaler in the United States and my rep called numerous times staing that the product was not FDA approved or authentic Allergan product. She called me at 7am the day of my big spa party and scared the BLEEP out of me. She sent me emails from Allergan stating what independent distributors were authorized by Allergan and sent me legal cases from the past where doctors got in trouble for embezzelment and fraud for using unauthorized Botox. I got so scared that I verified the licensure of the wholesaler and faxed a copy of the license to the Allergan rep. I'm also awaiting a discusseion with a person in their company to get exacts on the rules and asked for a letter in writing stating this. Thanks I'd appreciate any comments.

09.11 | Unregistered CommenterMKN

Botox from other countries is cheaper. It is also illegal to import drugs not fda approved and give them to your patients.
Its not worth the few hundred dollars you save.
I always purchase from allergan, you get piece of mind knowing exactly what is in the bottle and your not going to loose your license either.

09.11 | Unregistered CommenterDrGM

It's my understanding after lots of research, talking with other docs and legal personnel and insurance companies that its not illegal to import the botox ( or juvederm,etc) but it IS illegal to resell it. So unless you are NOT selling it and are giving it away ( friends,family,yourself) it is 100% illegal and no matter how irritated you are with Allergan and the monopoly it maintains, you CAN and WILL get yourself a little trip in front of your state board and then you are tarnished. Period. Whether that's a chance you're willing to take...well that's completely up to you

10.28 | Unregistered CommenterChynna

I also did lots of research and must tell you that once you decide to purchase from outside the US, you have to make sure the following is true at all times:
1) Work with someone you can trust. (I personally buy from cosmeticsrx for years). Doctors that get in trouble are usually those that run after good prices at no regard as to were the product comes from. There are lots of counterfeit products out there, so once you find someone you trust, stick to them.
2) Botox from any country should have proper registration numbers. You can purchase from anyone as long as it is Allergan Botox.
3) Always keep a set % of your purchases with US Allergan rep. This will keep them happy and ensure your relationship with your local rep in case if any law comes out stating that it is only legal to purchase Botox from a US Allergan representative. SO far, there is no such law.

11.8 | Registered Commenterjspa

Thanks for the info. What is medical aesthetics training? I want my sons to go to college and be doctors. One of them said something about that. I have no idea what it is.

Steven I dont know either. It would be best to go to college then medical school become a physician and then choose a specialty or even FP. They can add to their training with aesthetics training. It sounds like they want to become " medical aestheticians" which is not a recognized practiced and in all likelihood with the ever growing concern for medi spas running amok will never get recognized.
Recently people have been calling themselves Medical and take courses but the fact is it dosent hold up in court and essentially get caught up im practicing medicine without a license to do so.
I would not recommend anyone to simply train to be an aesthetician at this time, there is alot of uncertainty in the field and states throughout the country are making it more and more difficult to run a "medi spa" . Some states require MD presence on every case some require then to review every patient while others demand spas be deemed medical practices.

12.7 | Unregistered Commentergm

This will put your questions to rest.

A few years ago I was approached by a non authorized Botox distributor (who has a Pharmacy whole sale license) to sell his imported Botox you know the $325 a vial kind. After I visited a Dr.s office I got a call from Allergan's chief counsel Damon Burrows and he told me this was illegal. (The Dr. I visited reported me to Allergan.) I had no idea and was stunned. Damon was telling me this so I would not go down that road of illegal drug importing. I went back and forth for weeks (never made a sell because I did not know if it was legal or not.) between Allergan and Pharmalogical Inc. if this was legal and eventually just decided not to do it, as it was not worth the risk of a patient being paralyzed or worse killed over a $200.00 price difference. Today on 10-4-13 I read this article. "Pharmalogical, based in Great Neck, N.Y., has been a licensed drug wholesaler in New York since 2009. But, its website says it buys its products from British and European distributors, a practice U.S. drug regulators consider illegal." They have been shut down and are going to prison. PRISON for importing Botox and cancer drugs. PRISON PRISON PRISON. So now you know. PRISON. Don't do it, don't put your self and worse a patients life at risk, some child's mother. Just don't do it.

Scotty's got to be working for Allergan. His post a pile of garbage.

10.29 | Unregistered CommenterReally A

I totally agree with Really A :)

10.30 | Unregistered CommenterSinaimeds

If I am lying then post the name of your practice on this board. If I am lying announce your name an practice so the FDA Criminal Division can see you. I bet you will know do it because you know I am not lying.

10.30 | Unregistered CommenterScotty W.

hi.
i am supplier of botox .if any one need the botox at good price please contact me .
thanaks.

11.5 | Unregistered Commenterselina

Anyone importing Botox or Restylane or any other cosmetic drug into the US should check the FDA website. The FDA has the ability as the regulator of these drugs to take criminal action for anyone importing from outside the US. The only way for a medical office to legally purchase these drugs in the US is from the US manufacturer directly. See the links below from the FDA website and the enforcement action taken against importers.

The FDA is stating that even if the drug is the same one sold in the US, it is not legal to import it unless it was manufactured for the US.

http://www.fda.gov/iceci/criminalinvestigations/ucm347439.htm
http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/cms_ia/importalert_156.html
http://www.fda.gov/newsevents/newsroom/pressannouncements/2004/ucm108232.htm

01.8 | Unregistered CommenterKevinD

One Scotty W. to another it is illegal and do not get involved in that. Speak with Damon Burrows at Allergan if you want proof.

Can anyone recommend a reliable online drug store where I can buy authentic restylane and Juvederm, not for resell just for personal use, don't know how to choose since there's so many online seller out there.

01.13 | Unregistered CommenterColeJ

For what ever reason people are making comments using my name Scotty W and supporting the purchasing of illegal Botox. Use your won name if you are so confident in you views. I Scotty W. know this is illegal and was almost coursed into this by Liam Scully with Pharmalogical inc. Now he has been shut down an arrested for his actions. This piece of scum was also selling fake cancer drugs. Luckily Damon Burrows with Allergan talked with me before I get involved with this. It is illegal. Just pay the extra money and sleep peacefully at night. IT IS ILLEGAL

01.13 | Unregistered CommenterScotty W

Look up the FDA website and you will see that purchasing any prescription products from another country is illegal, subject to 5 years in prison or $250,000 in fines. Botox and dermal fillers are prescription products, don't forget that people, they are "medical products". Will I go on the internet and buy my on heart surgery kit, hell no!!! That is what you are messing with. No wonder we get people saying they tried botox and had bad experiences or weird side effects. Its because of unethical physicians or people thinking they can DIY their own botox.

02.4 | Unregistered CommenterMeg L.

Forgot to add that in other countries, they subsidize cost of medical everything. Which is why the price is cheaper in other countries. Their government is paying for the difference. Here, we don't have that luxury so that is why price of Botox is at cost for medical facilities in the United States.

Here is a link to an article. I've also pasted it here too. Just recently in November 2013

http://www.justice.gov/usao/moe/news/2013/november/falconer_erick.html

Local Doctor Pleads Guilty To Making False Statement To Agent
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASENovember 6, 2013
St. Louis, MO – DR. ERICK FALCONER pled guilty to making a false statement to federal agents regarding his purchases of misbranded Botox® from a foreign unlicensed drug wholesaler, some of which had counterfeit exterior packaging.

According to court documents, during the summer of 2009, Dr. Falconer received a facsimile transmission from an unlicensed drug wholesaler that offered low prices for assorted prescription drugs, including “Botox (Turkish)” for $354.99 a vial, listing a 1-800 telephone number and an individual’s “g-mail” address for contact purposes. The facsimile was sent to his medical practice, The Youthful Body, Inc., in Florissant, Missouri. During this same time frame, the FDA-approved version of Botox® was sold through licensed drug wholesales at higher prices in the United States, typically $525 a vial. From August 2009 through February 2013, Dr. Falconer and his corporation made over fifty separate purchases of these counterfeit drugs, which he provided to his patients without informing them of the source of the drugs. During an interview in February 2013 with special agents of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), Dr. Falconer told the agents he had only made three purchases of the illegal drugs from this unlicensed foreign wholesaler. On April 26, 2013, FDA issued an alert regarding “fraudulent versions of Botox found in the United States” with counterfeit exterior cartons.

Falconer, of St. Louis, Missouri, pled guilty to one felony charge of making a false statement before United States District Judge Carol E. Jackson. Sentencing has been set for February 4, 2014.

Dr. Falconer faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentences, a Judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, with assistance from the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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02.4 | Unregistered CommenterMeg L.

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