As we’ve discussed earlier, Botox injections are the most popular cosmetic procedure overall in the U.S. But Botox is expensive – and Allergan, the manufacturer, has been steadily raising their prices each year.
This has created a black market for Botox, with counterfeit and imitation Botox knock-offs. These imitations are not FDA-approved, and vary widely in their potency, quality, and source. But they certainly are cheap….
Many of these imitators originate in China. Brand names such as BTX-A, Botutox, Estetox-A, Refinex, Novotox, Canitox, QuickStar and Linurase are commonly seen knock-offs.
A recent review of these products showed their potency varied widely: from zero potency (no effect at all) to 5 x the indicated potency (way too much).
Counterfeit Dysport is also beginning to show up as well.
Allergan has put holographic stickers on the bottle, in an effort to deter counterfeiting.
If the Botox price quoted appears unusually low, watch out for:
– over-dilution (watered-down) with fewer units of Botox per syringe,
– use of grey-market / black market Botox imitators
If the price seems “too good to be true”, ask to see the official Botox hologram.
Can Botox be purchased from Canada? According to U.S. Federal regulations, physicians or corporations can not legally import large quantities of Botox (or any other medication) from anywhere, even if the Botox product was legitimately made by Allergan. Cross-border drug importation is a BIG DEAL to the FDA, who frowns on this practice. Despite this, there are some people that take the legal risk of Federal-level drug importation & trafficking prosecution, in order to save a few dollars of expense.