It seems that both physicians and patients can be easily fooled when it comes to many dermatology products. Because of globalization, and many more parties becoming involved in the manufacture and distribution of drugs, authorities are seeing more and more clever ways to supply sub-therapeutic, less expensive, and even dangerous versions of the drugs to consumers. Examples of this would be FDA unapproved alternative drugs, altered or diluted drugs, expired drugs, or improperly stored or handled drugs that will affect their potency, or worse cause them to become dangerous. Ways of avoiding this is not easy, as the criminals are becoming more sophisticated and smart.
One way is to try and see if the supplier of the drug is licensed to distribute the drug by the manufacturer. Watch the integrity of the supply chain – how many people have handled this drug? If it went from the manufacturer to several people before it ended up at the clinic door, this is suspect. Most reputable doctors have the drug shipped to them directly from the manufacturer. You cannot simply look at the drugs packaging and say, “That is or is not counterfeit.” Here are a few tips to help you avoid this problem:
- If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Unauthorized dealers often email/eblast/fax incredible deals. If it looks questionable, you can ask for a pedigree from the distributor, or contact the manufacturer. Most criminals will simply avoid these questions, reputable sources are happy to provide the information.
- Only buy FDA approved drugs. Drugs that are compounded by someone else’s recipe that tries to mimic the FDA product will not be held to the same sterile manufacturing standards, have their product tested for its safety and efficacy, nor will they be monitored to keep their products stored and handled in the way to keep them safe. Even with drugs that are coming from Canada, which are assumed to have the same standards as the U.S., it difficult to know if you are getting the real deal. Anyone can slap a Canadian Maple Leaf on their label or website and say they are Canadian. In fact, most of them are not. You have to check them out. All wholesale distributors in the U.S. must be licensed in each state to which they distribute. The FDA supplies links to investigate this under “FDA Drug Safety/Drug integrity/ Supply Chain Security…” Verifying licensing doesn’t guarantee a distributor is legitimate, but it goes a long way towards protecting patients.
- Inspect and double check. Look at the expiration dates, lot numbers, name of the active ingredient, and the routes of administration. Make sure the information is in English, and the information on the outside of the packaging matches what is written on the actual drug itself as well.
- Monitor side effects. If a product is acting differently than usual this should be a warning sign.
SO FOR PATIENTS… BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT ORDERING A “GREAT DEAL ON BOTOX OR FILLERS” ON THE INTERNET AND THEN TRYING TO FIND SOMEONE TO INJECT THEM FOR YOU. WE GET REQUESTS FROM PATIENTS ALL THE TIME TO INJECT SUBSTANCES THAT THEY GOT A DEAL ON FROM THE INTERNET. WE DO NOT DO THIS, AS IF THE PRODUCT IS COUNTERFEIT THE RESULTS CAN BE DEVASTATING. THERE RECENTLY WAS A SCANDAL WITH AN “onlinebotox.com” COMPANY THAT WAS TRYING TO SELL DISCOUNTED PRODUCTS DIRECTLY TO PHYSICIANS THAT DID NOT ORIGINATE WITH THE FDA APPROVED MANUFACTURER. AT DSADERMATOLOGY, WE TRY OUR BEST TO AVOID ANY PRODUCTS THAT DON’T COME DIRECTLY FROM THE ORIGINAL MANUFACTURER. REMEMBER, A DEAL IS A DEAL UNTIL IT ISN’T!
Why Choose DSA Dermatology?
At DSA Dermatology, we bring to you the best of not one but three leading dermatologists in Plano TX,
Dr. Achtman is a board-certified Dermatologist with over three decades of experience. Having graduated from the medical school of McMaster University, he also studied at the UTSW Medical Center in Dallas, TX where he also served as Chief Resident in the Department of Dermatology. In addition to possessing extensive training and experience in cosmetic enhancement techniques, Dr. Achtman is widely known as a leading expert in the diagnosis and treatment of various skin cancers. He is an active member of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. Dr. Achtman goes the extra mile to understand your medical concerns and to ensure that he helps you meet your unique aesthetic goals.
Dr. Carmine G. McConnell is a board-certified physician in Plano TX. Having been trained at McMaster University, Canada, she went on to earn her board certification in Texas. Having served as Chief of Staff of her department at Plano Medical Center, she has over two decades of experience in practicing medicine in her practice and while assisting Dr. Achtman in the practice of dermatology. In addition to her extensive postgraduate training in laser therapy and aesthetic surgery, among other procedures, she possesses vast experience in both cosmetic dermatological techniques and family medicine. As a conscientious and caring physician, Dr. McConnell provides her patients with customized non-surgical treatments to help address health and aesthetic concerns related to the skin. She is also keen on helping patients understand their skin and how it can be cared for and protected.
Dr. Jordan Achtman is a board-certified dermatologist in DSA Dermatology at Plano, TX. Dr. J. Achtman graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and completed his residency in dermatology at UT Southwestern. His expertise spans general, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology. Dr. J. Achtman also has various special interests including chronic itch, infectious diseases of the skin, and the relationship between mental health and skin health. He is also very keen on helping patients form healthy skincare regimens and habits. In the hands of Dr. J. Achtman, you can be assured of innovative and cutting edge solutions for all your skin concerns.