Maui Derm 2016 Highlights: Pharmaceutical Counterfeits – Are They in Your Practice or in Patient Hands?

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M. Gold, MD

Dr. Michael Gold explained the grim reality – There continues to be a huge global marketplace for fake toxins, fillers, and similar aesthetic products promising efficacy at cheap prices. Fraught with innumerable safety risks, and derived from uncontrolled and dubious production methods, many of these fake products contain toxic or at best utterly inert substances. These knockoffs can come in very realistic looking packages and are often “supported” by fake PI’s, websites, and seemingly legitimate journal references that turn out to be phony. The cheap products come from Eastern Europe and Asia. We should make sure our orders are direct from pharmaceutical companies and/or known, established and regulated distributors. Are we doing enough to educate patients and consumers who can easily find and buy these dangerous bogus products online?

New Toxins Coming
Ipsen, Galderma, and Alphaeon all have new neuromodulating toxins in later stages of development. While this provides more options with efficacy apparently similar to current modalities, it may create more confusion. We’ll stay tuned to monitor which is the best for our particular patient needs.

Filler Complications – Could You Cause Blindness?
The risk of blindness due to poorly placed injections has been well described and documented in literature. Consider carefully the underlying vasculature and anatomy (and the many variations and anomalies thereof) when using neuromodulators and fillers. Train staff to screen for and avoid causing an otherwise avoidable complication. Your practice should have protocols and supplies on hand to deal with complications expeditiously.