The brand BOTOX® Cosmetic has certainly experienced tremendous success over the past several years. And, if imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery, then the folks at Allergan, Inc. (the company behind the BOTOX® product and brand) must be feeling very flattered indeed.
Beyond products which have directly infringed on the name (as in this FDA enforcement action from a few years ago), there are more than a few which appear to attempt to leverage the brand’s recognition and goodwill, even if they are not direct replacements of the injected treatment.
A Florida plastic surgeon, Dr. Thomas Fiala, reports having encountered a number of Botox counterfeits. His blog includes this helpful information:
“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.”
So, how do you avoid getting stuck with a knockoff? The usual rules of thumb apply: if the brand name doesn’t match, or if the price seems too low, or if it’s being sold through an unusual channel like the back of a truck or a flea market, chances are it’s fake. And, of course, if you’ve encountered a knockoff, we’d appreciate if you would tell us all about it so we can include it here.