Physicians Coalition Says Importation of Cosmetic Injectables Can be a Felony
New York, NY (Vocus) September 10, 2009 -- One year in prison and up to $100,000 in fines; it's a potential steep penalty to pay for importing cosmetic injectables. As recently as August 2009, five physicians, one nurse and a practice manager all from the same New York medical practice pled guilty to charges stemming from the purchase of non-FDA approved cosmetic injectables from on-line pharmacies (case #2009cr00427 - Albany, New York). Each faces monetary penalties and jail time. Since 2004 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) entered into more than 210 investigations that led to arrests and convictions.
"Physicians fax machines and email accounts are filled with offers to buy off-shore, or unbranded cheaper injectables," said Physicians Coalition leader Mark L. Jewell, MD of Eugene, OR. "Buying from such sources is not a naïve or innocuous act simply for cost savings on the product. It's a dangerous act that can cause unexpected adverse events, and ultimately land the physician in prison."
"Genuine U.S. FDA approved cosmetic injectables have a safe and predictable record of outcomes. There is simply no excuse to cut corners, import or buy cheaper unbranded and illegal substances," said coalition leader Robert Weiss, MD of Baltimore.
"Illegal injectables can be readily distinguished from the real thing (see listing of tips below)," said coalition leader Ira Papel, MD of Baltimore. "The Coalition urges anyone, physician or consumer, who suspects the criminal act of soliciting non-approved, off-shore, counterfeit or illicit injectables in the U.S. to anonymously report the suspected crime to the FDA."
Information on reporting a suspected crime to the FDA can be found at http://www.fda.gov/consumer/updates/oci072307.html. Warning signs of counterfeit or illegal product include:
The Physicians Coalition for Injectable Safety is an alliance of specialty physician organizations including the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the International Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the International Federation of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, and the Canadian Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. The mission of the Coalition is to provide the public with unbiased and necessary information on injectable cosmetic treatments, appropriate injectors and where to safely access cosmetic medical procedures. Our goal is to promote treatment supervised by properly qualified and trained, board-certified doctors and to promote only the use of U.S. FDA-approved, appropriately administered product. More information can be found at www.injectablesafety.org.
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