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Illegal Botox shipments from Canada targeted by FDA

Dec 26, 2012

Federal health regulators are warning health care facilities across the country about the potential dangers associated with unapproved supplies of Botox being imported from Canada.

The Food and Drug Administration, according to an Associated Press report, has informed more than 350 health care clinics and other facilities that dispense Botox injections that imports of the product from Canada have not been approved by the agency and therefore may be dangerous and should not be used. The FDA said that shipments from companies owned by the pharmacy company Canada Drugs is responsible for the illegal exports.

This has been the fifth time that the FDA has been forced to issue warnings about the dangers and illegal nature of importing unapproved drugs from another country, according to the report. In announcing that rogue supplies of Botox may currently be being dispensed at clinics across the U.S., the agency also warned doctors not to purchase any drugs from Canadian pharmacies because they have not been approved for use in the U.S.

Earlier this year, the FDA warned 19 separate clinics that they had received counterfeit or unapproved shipments of the cancer drug Avastin. Three other times, the agency again warned about counterfeit Avastin shipments. Those warnings also centered around shipments made from suppliers north of the border that are owned by Canada Drugs.

The report from indicates that drug shortages, especially of injectable drugs only readily available at health care clinics, have led some doctors and clinics to seek other sources of popular drug treatments, such as Botox and Avastin.

In similar actions against Canada Drug earlier this year, the FDA also ordered the owners of more than 4,100 Web sites that dispensed drugs from Canada to stop selling to the U.S. and shut down immediately. AP indicates that all those sites, all owned by Canada Drug, are still functioning and in business this week.

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