Black Market Botox....A Better Buy?

Botox: $50 for 100mu?

Thought that would grab your attention.  I've heard you can find Botox on the internet for that price.  I wouldn't recommend it.

Occasionally a patient will ask me to explain why those people in Florida "died from Botox."  They are referring to a story that was widely publicized in early 2005 about some people in Florida who were sent to the hospital after receiving phony Botox injections and becoming paralyzed.  There was another story around the same time of a woman in California who died from Botox injections done by a hair stylist.  Hair stylist?  Yes, you read that right.  The very important distinction is that they didn't actually ever have Botox injected into them.  They were duped and actually had raw-grade Botulinum toxin type A used on them. 

Right about now you might be thinking, well that would certainly never happen to me.  My vials all say Botox and have the purple, red, orange colors on the box.  Matter of fact, I'm guessing that the guy in Florida thought his product was safe since he used it on himself.  I actually know a physician who had ordered, but never used, this killer Botox that he ordered from the same source. He thought he'd found a better source to get the real thing at a cheaper price.

Botox is a trademarked name for a substance that is made by Allergan. Anything else is phony and potentially very dangerous and most certainly not worth the savings that might be had.  This bootleg industry has become so prolific that I wanted to be sure everyone knew what to look for and what to avoid.  Fake Botox is frequently made in China or Korea. Authentic Botox is made and distributed world wide by Allergan and has a hologram indicating it's credibility.

To view the hologram on a vial of Botox:

1) Examine the vial under a desk lamp or fluorescent light source

2) Rotate the vial back and forth between your fingers; look for horizontal lines of rainbow color on the label

3) Confirm that the name "ALLERGAN" appears within the rainbow lines.

I'm guessing that this black market industry will soon learn how to counterfeit the hologram as well.