The American Society of Plastic Surgeons continues to warn consumers about the risks of getting ‘knock-off’ Botox, but only some patients are able to determine whether they are getting the real deal. In recent news, doctors and employees at a well-known plastic surgery center in Albany, New York have admitted to using counterfeit Botox at their practice, and even going so far as charging full price for the products. Patients that were administered the Botox knock-off were not told that they were receiving a sub-par product, and the plastic surgery center thereby committed a crime.
Plastic Surgery Group, LLP of Albany has pleaded guilty to felony charges for misrepresenting Botox at their clinic and selling it to unknowing consumers. The doctors and nurses were fined heavily and now have felony charges on their record.
Results of the investigation show that the Plastic Surgery Group had been dispensing knock-off Botox products since February 2004 when it stopped ordering the FDA-approved Botox off the shelf. The company purposely misled patients by having them sign patient intake forms and distributing marketing materials about Botulinum Toxin Type A and not disclosing that they would be administering an entirely different product.
Prosecutors report that The Plastic Surgery Group managed to rack up sales of more than $100,000 in the knockoff Botox treatments. They now face nearly half a million dollars in fines and must pay restitution to each and every patient.
Making sure that the cosmetic surgery center, medical spa or plastic surgery office is not using knock off products can be a challenge for first-time, and even return patients. The only thing a patient can do is do extensive research about their doctor, review client testimonials and verify whether the doctor is board-certified. Doctors who hold high standards for their practice and are board-certified may be less likely to compromise business ethics to make a profit.