Dr. Jeanine Downie Discusses Fake Botox in TV Segment

May 15, 2024

If public awareness is the key to combatting the counterfeit Botox problem that has been popping up around the country recently, then Jeanine B. Downie, MD, FAAD, took a big step May 13.

Dr. Downie, an Editorial Board member for Practical Dermatology's sister publication Modern Aesthetics, joined anchor Vanessa Freeman on PIX11 Morning News in New York, explaining how neurotoxins work, which brands are FDA approved, and who should be administering them. She emphasized the importance of understanding that, no matter how common neurotoxins are, it is still a medical procedure.

“There are a lot of people that are unlicensed, that are nonmedical—some even beauticians—that are administering toxin in their living rooms,” Dr. Downie told Freeman during the interview. “Don’t go to someone’s living room for a neuromodulator. They are administering toxin at Botox parties, as it were, and in unlicensed facilities that aren’t even overseen by physicians. And they are buying the counterfeit Botox offline. For example, they are in 150-unit bottles, and Botox comes in 100 units and 200 units, but the public doesn’t know that.”

Dr. Downie noted during the interview that she advises her patients to get treatment less frequently if they cannot afford it: “Taking a discount coupon for your health is never a good thing,” she said.

Dr. Downie told Modern Aesthetics she was “thrilled” that the show devoted more than 6 minutes to the segment.

“We had several calls at the office all day about the segment,” she said, “and people are wanting to come in and see me for an assessment of what type of neuromodulator they need.”

Still, Dr. Downie said her office fielded two calls from people calling her an alarmist, and she said she does not expect a quick resolution to the counterfeit Botox problem.

“In my opinion, this is the start of a long battle as people will continue to cut corners and try to discount coupon their faces or bodies with different procedures that they want and are not willing to pay market value for,” Dr. Downie told Modern Aesthetics. “Unfortunately, many people think that they will never get hurt by the bad decisions they make to purchase cheaper products and services online.”

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