In March of this year, the FDA warned consumers that fraudulent versions of the injectable treatment Botox had been found on the U.S. market. This month, a clinician in Saint Louis has pleaded guilty of purchasing the fake Botox from foreign suppliers.
On December 2, the FDA announced that Thomas Greg Martin, a clinician who ran a medical clinic specializing in cosmetic procedures, had pleaded guilty to “receiving misbranded Botox from a foreign supplier, some of which had counterfeit exterior packaging.”
KSDK.com reports that Martin made more than 30 purchases of Turkish “Botox” between September 2010 and September 2012. He then treated unsuspecting patients with the misbranded Botox, according to the FDA.
The FDA also informs us that Martin purchased the Botox from a company that faxed unsolicited drug sales pitches to U.S. medical offices, offering “Botox (Turkish)” for sale at deeply discounted prices.
The FDA warning in March stated that “The company selling the fraudulent versions of Botox goes by the names ‘Online Botox Pharmacy,’ ‘Onlinebotox.com,’ and ‘Onlinebotox.’ At the time this alert was issued, the company did not appear to be selling its products over the internet. Instead, the company has been using ‘blast faxes’ to solicit sales from medical practices, typically selling products at prices below those of FDA-approved products. As is the case with many companies that sell fraudulent products, Online Botox Pharmacy uses a U.S. return address when sending packages to medical practices, even though the products are from foreign sources.”
Martin is scheduled to be sentenced on March 7, 2014, and faces up to three years in prison, and fines up to $250,000, according to the FDA. This case was investigated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA-OCI).