Fake Botox: Houston physician sentenced

The fake Botox case in Houston comes to a close with this sentence handed down.

A Houston, Texas physician was sentenced to five months and 15 days in federal prison and three years of supervised release for injecting patients with fake Botox, prosecutors said on Friday.

Dr. Gayle Rothenberg is a local physician specialized in providing image enhancement services. She was also ordered to pay $98,426 in restitution to her affected patients. As a condition of supervised release, Rothenberg is prohibited from seeking reinstatement of her medical license.

Rothenberg and her former husband, Saul Gower, a local attorney, operated The Center for Image Enhancement located at 2000 Bering Drive in Houston.

Rothenberg ordered and administered a drug called Botulinum Toxin Type A that was labeled with the warning “FOR RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY, NOT FOR HUMAN USE.” Despite this label, Rothenberg injected more than 170 patients with the substance and represented to patients that they were receiving Botox Cosmetic, manufactured by Allergan Inc.

Rothenberg also admitted that she advertised in brochures, magazines and websites that she specialized in treating facial wrinkles with Botox Cosmetic, even though she intentionally stopped ordering it due to the price increase in 2004 and began ordering the unapproved drug from a company named Toxin Research International because it was half the price of the other. She admitted that she did not tell her patients that they were receiving a different substance.

Gower pleaded guilty in 2008 to misbranding of a drug while being held for sale and making false statements to an agent. He then, cooperated with agents and testified against his ex-wife in exchange for a sentence of 4 years’ probation.