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Saturday
Mar152008

Cheap Restylane & Botox: Are you buying it from Canada?

restylane_botox_syringeI've received a number of inquiries about buying Restylane, Botox, Juvederm, and other injectables from Canada, Ireland or even Bulgaria.

Here's are two threads from the Physician to Physician discussion area:

There does seem to be a great deal of pricing disparity. Canadian, English and Turkish suppliers and pharmacies who are selling Restylane and Botox are certainly undercutting the pricing that doctors are charged in the US.

It brings up a number of questions for docs and problems for the companies. How can they exploit the market opportunity in the US which will generally accept higher prices while still selling into countries that won't?

(Always be aware that laws differ everywhere and you're responsible for making informed decisions.)  

Reader Comments (30)

I thought this was made illegal by congress. The companies that were importing meds for patients have all been closed around us.

03.18 | Unregistered CommenterLH

Hmmmm.... I certainly know of some doctors who are importing Botox and Restylane both. There are often companies who are Canadian pharmacies who show up in the adword links. I'm wondering if what the legality is here? Is it illegal to import it, or illegal to administer it?

03.18 | Unregistered CommenterDermgal

Despite the fact that buying botox from canada might be illegal, is there any other reason we should not consider a cheaper deal for botox ?

03.30 | Unregistered CommenterNewbie

Other than the fact you could lose your license. I have a friend that ordered "botox" from a company the was supposedly working on FDA approval etc. He ordered it and used it. He lost his license for 1 year and had tens of thousands in lawyers bills. There are also a few who have ended up in jail with permanent loss of their medical license. This is definitely not something I would push at this time.

03.30 | Unregistered CommenterLH

Just to make something clear....when you purchase Botox from Canada you are purchasing Botox made by Allergan. Not another product or one that is trying to be approved for future use (that is just dumb!) The price of Botox (made by Allergan) is about $100 less per vial if purchaed from a wholeseller located in Canada. Same with Juvederm.

03.30 | Unregistered CommenterHS

HS,

Hopefully you are purchasing the real botox. I think anything from Canada is OK but I would watch from some other countries. It still comes down to the question is it legal to bring these into the US?

I ordered some meds from a compounding company out of Canada (meds I can get in the US legally) and the box was labeled "for animal use only". I asked the company about it and they said it was so they could get it through customs. That sounded a little shady so I never ordered from them again.

03.31 | Unregistered CommenterLH

Hello,
My rep is from here in US who sells botox for $475. The bottle has the rainbow hologram on the label. It says Allergan marketing authorization holder: Allergan Ltd.Marlow,Bucks,UK.
Further on the label it states- manufactured by Allergan Pharmaceuticals Ireland, westport,Co.Mayo, Ireland. Has anyone else used this?
We have used this for awhile with no problems. My question is if this illegal or improper? Must one buy the higher priced Botox from the Allergan rep in this country by law? Where does one find out this information? Obviously, the rep says its legal.
Thank you.

05.22 | Unregistered CommenterRA

Greetings to All,

Everyday thousands of prescription medicine packages cross into the USA from Canada. These packages get inspected by US Customs and FDA, yet they continue on their course to their respective customers in various states across the USA. The US government knows its citizens are getting taken by "Big Pharma".

If individuals can import for personal use, why can't an MD??

Even if the product is manufactured in the same FDA approved facility.

Have a peaceful day.

08.5 | Unregistered CommenterXL

And so.. the question remains.... is it illegal for an md to purchase/import Botox or fillers from Canada???

08.23 | Unregistered CommenterMHW4

It seems we still don't have an answer for this concern.

Perhaps we should have a site that ACTUALLY gets an answer to some of these concerns instead of having US simply discuss.

Anyone, other than someone with an IDEA, that has FACTS and could shed some light would be greatly appreciated. I do share the resentment that Big Pharma has stolen the Intellectual Capital from Physicians and continue to exploit American citizens and physicians alike.

Cheap drugs from Canada,

My understanding is it is a grey area. It is not aproved by the FDA etc. Obviously the company does not want to loose profit. If you buy it up here and use it down there the company would do their best to stop you. Allergan.ca will not sell to you, you would have to buy from an internet site and that could be fraught with problems - where the drugs were sourced?

The FDA would only know if there was a problem and therin lies the problem. If there was an issue that however unlikely could be linked to using an FDA unaproved product there would be a queue of Lawyers waiting to rip you apart. Certainly the company would sell you to the wolves unless it suited them. Your malpractice insurer would take the oppotunity to drop you like a brick and probably give you a shove for good measure.

The difference between patients buying meds for themselves and us buying them for them or using on them is if they do it - it is their fault. If we do it it will always be our fault however irational. The law is an ass, most politicians are lawyers and big pharma provides a lot of sponsorship. What more do you need to know??

David

12.10 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

seems like lots of docs are looking for reliable source for botox...our clinic orders botox from a compounding pharmacy in Canada.

we haven't had any problems...botox is same quality as here...but i think they source it from Ireland and the UK. They can give you a discount on your first order i think (we did). also, they are other pharmacies too...make sure they are licensed though...and make sure they are a Canadian online pharmacy...easy to track in case of problems.

It is illegal to buy re-imported Botox. meaning if the Botox was inthe US left and then came back in.

Ok......there is so much misinformation in this blog I can't stand it anymore. Here are the FACTS on Botox you first need to understand. Botox as you know is manufactured by Allergan.......what you may not know is 100% of all Botox produced by Allergan is produced in Dublin Ireland. It does not matter whether you buy it in the U.S., in Europe, Asia or Iceland......it all comes from the exact same place. Secondly, understand the FDA approved this drug (NDC #00023-1145-01) as long as it is produced by Allergan and is packaged by Allergan.

Is it legal to buy Botox from Canada? Yes, as long as it is the EXACT same product and is produced by Allergan.

Given it is produced in the U.S., distributed usually by distributors in Europe to Canada, and then delivered to the U.S. it violates NO transportation laws because it never was in the U.S. to begin with (because it started in Ireland, went to Europe or Canada or both, and then to the U.S.).

Allergan U.S. reps will do a war path drum beat about Botox coming from Canada not having an NDC#; this is false, the reason is an NDC # is assigned to the drug, NOT THE DISTRIBUTION CHANNEL. I have had attorneys look at all this so don't believe the U.S. Allergan reps......is nice to see their party is about over big time with new FDA approved equivalents coming on the market as I write. Couldn't happen to a bunch of nicer thieves......the disparity in pricing is usurous.

05.9 | Unregistered CommenterTom

And answer for Ashley Med Group question........No it is not legal as you describe it (Botox was in U.S., left the U.S. and came back in)...that would violate Transportation/Trade laws. But if it was never in the U.S. to begin with, and comes in (i.e. Botox bought from Canada) it is ok for all the reasons I mentioned in my previous blog.

05.9 | Unregistered CommenterTom

Do you have something form the FDA that says it is legal to sell it and a Letter form the FDA that says it legal for DR's to buy it. If so please post. That is the Question

05.11 | Unregistered CommenterScotty

Tom, could you please provide the name and location of the law firm (and maybe even the name of the attorney) you had look into this for you? We are definitely interested in purchasing Botox from Canada and saving some $$$, but we would like to get a written legal opinion from an American law firm stating that doing so would not violate any laws. The attorney that looked into it for you would obviously already be well-versed in all of the issues surrounding this subject, so it would be great to talk to/hire him or her directly.

Thanks!

05.14 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

anyone got the legal firms name and number to give us for that legal opion

05.22 | Unregistered Commenterchris

RA...can you give the number for your rep who sells it at 475...we are paying 525 through Allergan direct. Thanks

08.5 | Unregistered CommenterDJB

we are purchasing it from the direct Allergan number here in California for 525....any place here in the US for a lesser price?

08.5 | Unregistered CommenterDJB

Botox in Canada costs Canadian physicians and pharmacists about $350 per 100 u. Supposedly the reason is that the Canadian health authorities negotiate the price with Allergan and the price is kept low for those who use it through the Canadian Health service. This of course is for Botox therapeutic, but the same price applies for Cosmetic, which is not provided by Canadian health insurance. Allergan closely guards its Botox and makes any physician who obtains it from them sign a covenant not to sell or administer it outside of Canada. That doesn't mean everyone complies, but that is what the company tries to enforce.

You can however find it at the Canadian price through a source that is certified by Pharmacy Checker, a reputable organization that legitimizes Canadian pharmacies which sell to Americans.

08.16 | Unregistered CommenterLouise

To each their own but I have heard that this is illegal. It's very tempting but I had an attorney look into it and was told that unless the Canadian company who you are buying it from has FDA approval, it's illegal.

I work for a Canadian company for about 5 years and we sale Botox allover the USA. So I do not think this could be
illegal.
Tuesday I will find out if my company is FDA approved maybe this is the difference as AMS is saying.

If you are looking for a better price please email me I can get a better price for anyone interested.

09.4 | Unregistered Commenterliz

OK SO CAN I AND EVERY OTHER US COSMETIC DOC BUY BOTOX AND RESTYLANE FROM CANADA AND NOT GO TO JAIL? PLEASE JUST ANSWER YES OR NO????

10.20 | Unregistered Commenterdm

yes I will join in on that when my supplies deplete... probably late january.

for now, I need RESTYLANE! so if anyone else is in my position, please go to seattlemedical.net, my rep: Vince, told me that they can do a group option for their Q-MED products until DEC 31. They will ship when there are enough orders
e-mail them through the site, tell them that this is prat of A.DiGiulio's (Michigan) group

Does anyone work with the group QP Medical? They have great prices and have been very good to work with. They say they are liscensed and even faxed a copy of the liscense. But does this make it so? Does anyone have any documentation stating we are not doing anything illegal when purchasing from the UK or Canada. The Allergan rep has been concerned regarding our decline in sales. Can they get us in trouble? Any help is appreciated. Thanks

01.14 | Unregistered CommenterCathy

The big deal is that these products are not FDA approved to be used in the USA. They may be the same product, but the fact that they are not FDA approved should be cause for thought.

01.15 | Unregistered CommenterNelda

I represent a UK pharmacy that sells cosmetic injectables and dermal fillers. We are registered with the US FDA and I could provide US FDA registration if requested. We are one of the ONLY foreign pharmacies with US FDA registration.

Botox is $325 for 100 unit vial and we purchase directly from the manufacturers' respective distributors in the UK. All products have proper serial numbers.

Hello everybody. It is very interesting to read all these funny stories and people pretending to have licenses which do not exist. The discrepancy is if the PRODUCT is FDA approved or not; and if it is a pharma or a medical device (class III for products like restylane). If a MD wants to buy a class III medical device from outside USA it can be done legally as long as the product is FDA approved, for example you cannot bring inside USA product like Surgiderm or Belotero which are not FDA approved yet. From 2013 also the company which ship the goods to USA must register the facility abroad with FDA. Products cannot be sold to private only to MD or clinics. The major problem is that most of the pharmacy online or companies offering products on the internet they don't own the goods or they don't care on where they buy the goods from and most of the time they do not buy from manufactures so you never know where goods are originated. If you are an MD or clinic looking to buy orthopedic or esthetic injectable please send an email and we will be glad to quote delivered price to USA shipping the goods and having FDA and customs clearance legally. No fake declaration etc but could only be on the FDA approved products. You can check site for the email address www.injectablehyaluronicacid.com . We are not selling goods on the site and it is only to get known in google. Send us an email and you will get a specific quote.

11.21 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

This message is for Tom. Tom, thank you so much for your post regarding Botox from Canada. It makes perfect sense. You most likely have been inundated with emails regarding this post for months. I cant even tell when it was written, I just see the month and not the year. Just like you, I prefer to not leave my email and name. I wonder how I may inquire further. The disparity is mind boggling, and I am one who roots for the underdog, meaning us! Any updates here would be oh so appreciated. Currently I just buy half and half.....half from here, half from Canada.....to keep everyone happy. But, I would so much like to only order from canada.

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