TSS Investigates – DIY Botox

If anyone knows that value of a dollar, it’s me! I’m a coupon-clipping, rewards card-holding, price comparing and negotiating, black Friday shopping maniac! But one sacrifice I would never make – putting my health in danger just to save a few bucks. In my eyes, it’s just not worth it.

I came across an article the other day from the Lincoln Journal Star reporting on a burglary at a plastic surgeon’s office. It was your typical, everyday robbery – “…stolen items included a flatscreen TV, a laptop computer, two digital cameras and cash…” and “…six boxes of botulinum toxin type A,” AKA Botox! Wait a second, did I read that correctly? They stole $3,150 worth of Botox? What would two of Lincoln’s finest do with Botox vials?

“Well you know people are illegally selling Botox on the internet now?” Kristy later informed me. That sparked my interest – and I immediately started my search to find Botox for purchase online – without a prescription & without an MD at the end of my name.

I discovered a fantastic article by Lorraine Fisher from the Dailymail.com, with, what I think, is quite a show-stopping title “Poison-by-post.com : The terrifying new trend that could paralyze, blind or even kill you.” I mean if that doesn’t scare you, what would?

Lorraine did all the leg work for me – she researched sites online where you can purchase Botox and actually bought some. It seemed so easy – she simply searched “buy botox”, a website appeared, she selected three vials and headed to the online check-out. The Botox soon arrived, without any instructions on how to transform this gel-like substance into the liquid Botox we all see when at our physician’s office. (In case you aren’t aware, Botox is actually shipped in solid form and the physician combines that with sodium chloride before injecting a patient).

This might seem all fine and dandy up to this point – but let’s just bring to light some of the more “shady” things Lorraine ran into during her purchasing experience. The first, and most obvious red light is the fact that you can only pay with Western Union or Moneygram transfers. And even further, the money was to be sent to some lady with a fake name in Chisinau, Moldova. If Western Union asked you what the money was for, you were told to lie and tell them the money is “…for your relatives or for a friend in need.” Lastly, another little known fact about Botox is that it must be kept cold – in fact it’s packed and shipped in dry ice when sent to our office from Allergan. But was Lorraine’s illegitimate botox packed in ice? Nope, it was sent in a plain old envelope, so after all that, if by some miracle the product she received was really Botox, by the time it got to her, it wasn’t good anymore.

As I read through more articles, what seemed to interest me the most was not the physicians’ opinions on DIY Botox but instead the comments left by the public about the subject. Comments ranged from one end to the other; from citizens concerned for those who would take such a drastic step just to save a few bucks; to comments defending these online illegal drug stores; to those who think we should just all mind our own business and let people do as they please. I even saw a post from a past employee of one of these websites claiming her innocence of the whole situation.

I’m not trying to make up anyone’s mind about this – after all, from what I’ve read, this seems to be quite a touchy subject – but I just don’t see how risking your life is worth saving some money. Like any prescription you receive, there are possible side effects of Botox, side effects that are hightened when you aren’t fully trained to be dispensing the drug.

Allergan (makers of Botox) suggest seeing “dermatologists, plastic surgeons, ophthalmologists, otolaryngologists (ear, nose, and throat doctors), or other physicians specializing in cosmetic procedures [because they] are generally more experienced.” On the Botox website doctors are listed for your convenience based on zip code so you can be sure you are seeing a trained, experienced physician.

So why take the risk?


“Poison-by-Post.com: The terrifying new trend that could paralyse, blind or even kill you” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1178137/Poison-post-com-The-terrifying-new-trend-paralyse-blind-kill-you.html
“DIY Botox: Site Offers Injectable Drug Without Prescription – With How-To Video” http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/10/botox-without-prescription/
Botox Cosmetic Official Website: http://www.botoxcosmetic.com/index.aspx

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