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IAPAM's Botox Training Includes a Discussion of DIY Botox and Illegally Imported Botox

As a part of this commitment to enduring physician education, the IAPAM recently surveyed several doctors with preeminent expertise in the administration of botox. These experts offer their peers these tips when considering adding cosmetic injectables to a practice.

Las Vegas, NV, December 11, 2009 --( The International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine (IAPAM ) is the leading minimally-invasive aesthetic physician association in the world. Their mandate includes giving physicians the most comprehensive hands-on Botox training available. Whether new to aesthetics, or looking for advanced Botox education, the IAPAM offers training to meet the needs of all doctors. Part of this training is a new discussion of the alarming DIY Botox Trend, and an overview of the key issues associated with purchasing and preparing cosmetic injectables for safe and effective use.

1. Cosmetic Injectables Must Be Purchased in US

A central issue in the safe and effective administration of botulinum toxin products, and all other cosmetic injectables, is that they can only be sold legally in the US "to physicians." In a discussion with Dr. Russell Kridel, Dr. Kridel highlights that "these products must be legally approved and labeled by the FDA." Furthermore, "depending on state law, which varies, only physicians, nurse practitioners, and nurses may inject these substances."

2. The Recent DIY Botox Trend

Recently, there have been several reports regarding DIY "botox-like" injectables, which can be purchased through the internet. The red-flags regarding these internet offerings range from the unrealistically low pricing, indicating the product is not FDA approved, to a complete disregard for the potential life threatening side affects that can accompany the delivery of a neurotoxin into the body, by an untrained, unlicensed administrator. For example, a 100 unit vial of Botox Cosmetic® is sold to physicians for over $500USD, whereas a 300 unit vial of Dysport® in the US is sold to physicians for $475USD.

3. Medical Malpractice Insurance Coverage Could be at Risk

Susan Preston, President of the Professional Program Insurance Brokerage firm is very clear about the implications to a practice if a physician purchases botulinum toxin products from an unlicensed distributor or another country. “Many, if not most insurance carriers, including ours, only provide coverage for Botox or other injectable products bought in the United States.”

4. Cosmetic Treatments Should be Performed in a Medical Facility

The FDA agrees specifically states that, "botulinum toxin products should be administered in an appropriate setting using sterile instruments. Malls, private homes, [hotel rooms, and conference rooms] are not medical environments and may be unsanitary."

5. Comprehensive Botox Training Needed

Dr. Melissa Babcock offers physicians and patients alike, advice regarding the importance of having a skilled professional involved in product preparation. "If you are not a trained medical professional, botulinum toxin (Botox or Dysport) can be very dangerous to use. Medical professionals are trained to dilute the concentrated product correctly, inject it correctly into appropriate muscles and use the correct concentration for each muscle they are injecting. An untrained person injecting Botox would certainly experience side effects such as drooping eyelids, and other facial distortions resembling a person who suffered a stroke."

6. The Patient Consultation Is Central to a Successful Outcome

Finally, managing patient expectations is the most critical success factor in a good outcome with botox. Dr. Thomas Sterry offers a comprehensive overview of tips for physicians to discuss with their patient, including:

a. Ensure that you discuss with the patient, "what they are paying for."
b. Ensure the patient understands the office policy for “touch ups” before beginning the treatments.
c. Discuss the longevity of each product's results (Dysport vs. Botox Cosmetic).


Dr. Thomas Sterry offers these final words to his fellow physicians. "People love Botox - patients and doctors - because of how accessible it is and for how minimally invasive it is, [but] the ease that people perceive it's administered with has become exaggerated. The most important thing for both patients and physicians to keep in mind is that injecting the skin with Botox, Dysport, Juvederm or any other product is not "easy" and physician-lead training in a medical facility, coupled with experienced instructors, is critical to a successful first-step in adding injectables to a practice.

For a complete copy of the article, "IAPAM Aesthetic Physician Bulletin: DIY & Illegally Imported Botox", see the IAPAM's Aesthetic Medicine News (

About the International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine (IAPAM)

The International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine is a voluntary association of physicians and supporters, which sets standards for the aesthetic medical profession. The goal of the association is to offer education, ethical standards, credentialing, and member benefits. IAPAM membership is open to all licensed medical doctors (MDs) and doctors of osteopathic medicine (DOs). Information about the association, or about physician certification, can be accessed through the IAPAM's website or by contacting:

Jeff Russell, Executive-Director
International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine (IAPAM)
1-800-219-5108 x705

Botox is a trademark of Allergan, Inc. Dysport is a trademark of Medicis, Inc.

Contact Information
International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine
Jeff Russell
1-800-219-5108 ext. 705
848 N. Rainbow Blvd., #713
Las Vegas, NV 89107

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