Lately, it seems Botox is in the news. Sometimes it also seems that some type of criminal behavior related to Botox is in the news as well.
The current crop of stories may just be a speedbump — but it could also be a harbinger of things to come. Observers are split on what the latest rash of indictments and suspensions mean.
Five physicians in Connecticut have been accused by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of buying untested drugs that place patients at risk.
The FDA information shows the five plastic surgeons were identified as members of a far-reaching inquiry concerning Gallant Pharma International, GPI. GPI, which has sold over $123 million in untested chemo and cosmetic medications in America before being shut down in 2014.
The case is just the latest as pharmaceutical companies are pushing Congress and the Justice Department to tighten up on the growing abundance of dangerous untested and fake drugs being marketed to physicians. The sales are estimated to be in the "billions" of dollars.
GPI distributed over 18,000 units of non-approved medications to physicians in America between 2009 and 2013.
Persons who take bogus or forged drugs are at peril of several health issues covering:
- Unanticipated effects
- Allergic responses, or
- A deterioration of their health
Dr. David Kloth, medical director for Connecticut Pain Care, said several of his clients with persistent migraines were refused Botox shots by coverage providers and instead desired to buy the drug out of their own pocket.
"We had come across a mail order drugstore in Canada which made the drug available at 50 percent of the cost," Kloth said.
"We quit utilizing the group as the challenges in the procedure were daunting as well as anxiety about the legitimacy of purchasing from Canada."
In May 2014, GPI co-owners Talib Khan and Syed Huda were sent to prison for three years after they pled guilty to charges.
In 2015, the FDA debarred them which will keep them from legally rendering care in any position to an individual.
According to the grand jury indictment, GPI executives had overseas confederates deliver drugs to Britain and Canada. From there, other accomplices would send the packages to Virginia where they would be shipped in ice packs to New England.
Kloth said Americans are being "ripped off" by drug prices and complained that the federal government is not doing anything to protect American consumers from the high prices.
Kloth said he bought medication at a pharmacy that costs over $300, though it only cost $10 to manufacture and was sold for less than $40 a few years ago.
"Why should the same medication be half the cost in Canada?"
Jonathan Henk, aka, "Jonny Botox", was a nurse for a quarter of a century. The now ex-nurse is cited for leaving a patient feel as though somebody had put a hatchet in her skull after giving her illicit injections of Botox.
BBC's "Inside Out" program has found that Henk gave unauthorized corrective therapy to a 53-year old female. Henk was also outed for attempting to inject a clandestine journalist, Kate West, with as much Botox as she desired — in exchange for $200.
The program also claims Henk was never qualified to administer medications — including Botox. Botox is a prescription only item.
The 53-year old patient, known only as Sarah, said she had headaches the night of the procedure and for several days afterward.
"I'm destroyed. I believed him."
When approached by the BBC, Henk acknowledged he should not have been ordering Botox. Henk also admitted that some consumers had protested the treatment.
"I only remember one individual who was really miserable," Henk said.
Joel Erskin saw his license suspended and his career caving in after Kansas' law enforcement found out he was administering Botox to almost 180 persons. Eriskin's supplier was not approved by the FDA.
The agency that banned Erskin, the Kansas Board of Healing Arts, said his license was suspended for 15 days for listing bogus information on a license renewal.
Erskin, charged with domestic battery and kidnapping in 2009, told the board he had not been arrested — or criminally charged.
In 200, Erskin got six months in prison — suspended — for a criminal threat and he was placed on directed probation for a year.
If convicted on the latest charges, Erskin faces a $10,000 fine; that doesn't mean he's willing to give up. Erskin has filed as a Republican to run for the Kansas House of Representatives.
"His face seems be melting," said one Twitter follower.
Although not involved in a criminal matter, John Travolta's appearance got the attention of fans everywhere when he recently starred in HBO's serialization of "The People v. OJ Simpson".
Travolta, a 1970s heartthrob, was recognized for his great looks and dimpled jaw. The 62-year old Travolta's latest look has raised eyebrows.
Wth very bushy eyebrows, a deep tan, shiny forehead and an apparent hair weave, the actor's trademark, looks appeared to have slid south for the latest role where he plays Hollywood's legal hotshot, Rober Shapiro.
Marina Gafanovich, a medical doctor who is doing Botox injections in New York, said that Travolta's hair and eyebrows are different as are the lower eyelids. "I suspect that he has had a blepharoplasty recently," said Gafanovich..
"He had obvious periorbital muscles and some wrinkling, but the job has been formed well," Gafanovich added.