The Secret Behind the Deadly Botox Scare: It Was A Fake!

You probably recall a news story I posted late last year about two couples who had been hospitalized after near-deadly complications involving contaminated doses of Botox they took for cosmetic purposes. A story appearing in this morning's USA Today, one of my favorite newspapers in the world, got to the bottom of the problem, which involved, of all things, $1.5 million in sales of an unapproved Botox "knockoff."

A company based in Arizona and satellite affiliates promoted the "fake" drug as a cheaper alternative to Botox. Despite labels warning the fake Botox was not meant for human use, patients in Florida, Nevada and Oregon received injections. Most were unaware that it wasn't Botox, a treatment that temporarily paralyzes muscles so wrinkles appear to smooth.

Of the four people who suffered severely after injections of the fake Botox in Florida, one of them, a physician, is now facing criminal charges of conspiring to defraud the U.S. government and mislabeling drugs, as well as two doctors who ran the manufacturing facility in Tucson, Ariz., that manufactured it. In all, 12 doctors may have their licenses suspended as a result of this debacle. What's even sadder: More than 200 physicians bought the "fake" Botox for their patients.

As far as I'm concerned, incidents like this demonstrate the worst-case scenario that happens when you use toxic drugs as a risky shortcut to a "new-and-improved you." Instead, you can maintain a natural fountain of youth by merely following my recommended age-defying techniques.

USA Today February 22, 2005

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