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Black Market Cosmetic Injectables Threaten Americans

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The United States has been experiencing an uptick in the number of patients being treated with fake and misbranded injectable cosmetic treatments. Learn more about these cases, which are one of the most common ways Americans are exposed to dangerous counterfeit medications.

In June 2014, Elva Navarro, a spa owner in McAllen, Texas, pleaded guilty to violating the U.S. Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act. Navarro had been injecting clients with adulterated liquid silicone that she falsely claimed was safe and FDA-approved, even though she knew her treatments had caused complications for her customers. According to the south Texas paper the Valley Morning Star, one of Navarro client’s underwent multiple surgeries and spent 17 days in intensive care after receiving the injections. Another, a 28 year old mother of 3, died.

Navarro’s case is one of many that involve Americans being treated with fake and misbranded injectable cosmetic treatments. More than 46 doctors, cosmeticians and drug distributors have been investigated for the purchase or sale of non-FDA approved cosmetic drugs—a variety of substances being passed off as Botox, collagen or other injected cosmetic treatments—since 2005. The scale of the problem is larger than those prosecutions; in 2012 the FDA notified 350 medical practices in 43 states that they may have purchased counterfeit Botox from a foreign supplier owned and operated by Canada Drugs.

Learn more about these cases, which are one of the most common ways Americans are exposed to dangerous counterfeit medications, by downloading Black Market Cosmetic Injectables in the U.S., 2005 – 2013.

By S. Imber

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