Washington – Those seeking to start 2013 with a more youthful look may want to take note.
Federal regulators are warning more than 350 medical practices that the Botox they received from a Canadian supplier is unapproved and could be counterfeit or unsafe.
The Food and Drug Administration is saying that batches of the wrinkle treatment shipped by suppliers owned by Canada Drugs pharmacy have not been approved by them and therefore the agency cannot assure their effectiveness or their safety.
It is the fifth warning the agency has made this year about foreign suppliers providing unapproved drugs.
Canada Drugs has been previously tied to shipping unapproved and counterfeit cancer drugs. In February, the FDA warned 19 medical practices that they had received a counterfeit version of the cancer drug Avastin. On three more occasions the agency issued similar warnings about counterfeit Avastin and Altuzan, another brand name for the same drug.
A request for comment from the drug distributor was not immediately returned to the Associated Press.
Latinos should particularly be concerned. A study from the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery concluded 30 percent of Hispanics had procedures done in 2011, the highest among any ethnic group. That same year, Botox was the most popular minimally invasive procedure performed on women under age 35.
In October, the FDA ordered operators of about 4,100 websites to immediately stop selling unapproved medications to U.S. consumers. The vast majority of those sites were operated by Canada Drugs.
Based on reporting by The Associated Press.