A plastic surgery firm in South Carolina is under investigation for administering cheaper versions of Botox that have not been approved the U.S. Food and Drug Administration into 41 patients. According to an indictment filed in early July 2009, the company purchased approximately 10 vials of the Botox knock-off from an Arizona research center in 2004. The firm misled many patients by convincing them that the Botox alternative was safe, and were able to offer patients a substantially-cheaper treatment than the conventional Botox treatment.
Southeastern Plastic Surgery of South Carolina has been charged with dispensing an imitation Botox product and also for relabeling the product in order to intentionally mislead patients. The company must now forfeit over $15,000 in proceeds from the revenue generated from the Botox-alternative treatments.
Anyone interested in getting Botox injections must make sure that the injection will be administered in a medically-supervised setting, and that the medical spa or cosmetic surgery center has a strong track record. Some medical spas and day spas that offer deep discounts on Botox and other injectables are often using lower-quality products or in some cases, imitation products. It’s important to understand that Botox and other injectables cannot be discounted excessively, and that the average price (with discounts) around the United States ranges from $300 to $450+ per injection.
In the case of the Southeastern Plastic Surgery, it may have been difficult to determine whether the company was dispensing legitimate Botox or the knock-offs. The plastic surgery firm’s website is very professional, and promotes itself as a “state-of-the-art AAAA surgical suite for your comfort, safety and privacy.” The company also encourages patients to “trust our board-certified surgeons and their team of highly skilled clinical aestheticians to create a more youthful appearance” on its skin rejuvenation section that lists Botox. The red flag for patients who underwent this procedure could have been the very low price of the injections.