Is It Illegal for Doctors to Purchase "Botox" from Canada?

I've heard some doctors are purchasing botox from out of the country, such as Canada. Is this legal? If this is legal, does the doctor have let you know they are using botox from out of the country? After going to see a new doctor a few times for Botox, I noticed it wasnt taking or lasting as long as it had previously when I was injected by another doctor's office. During a visit, while waiting in the lobby, I overheard the doctor talking about placing another order with a company in Canada.

Doctor Answers 14

Botox from Canada

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Thank you for your question. Physicians are required to prescribe or buy medications such as Botox that are FDA approved. So they should not be purchasing Botox from sources in Canada or outside the US.  

Overseas Botox

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
It is illegal to import Botox or other pharmaceuticals. Not a day goes by when my office does not receive a fax offering grey market Botox from Canada at bargain prices. Beware of physicians offering prices too good to be true. The product may be adulterated and counterfeit goods cannot be distinguished from the real thing until it is too late. Several people in Florida discovered this tragically last year. There is absolutely risk of prosecution if a tragedy ensues and no ethical physician should even think about purchasing Botox from a vendor other than Allergan.

Fort Lauderdale Botox

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Yes! Avoid use of any products imported for the very reason purification & controls are not as direct. In always encourage patients to question the injector if the product is markedly under market price for their regions. I often bring the vial in the room if there is any concern.

Will Richardson, MD
Fort Lauderdale Dermatologic Surgeon

Botox from Canada

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Yes, it is illegal.  Medical professionals are held to a high ethical standard and code of conduct.  Therefore, bending the rules to make more profit may seem harmless, but these types of actions calls into question the integrity of the entire practice.  One cannot pick and choose when and how to be honest and lawful.

Pricing is important, but when consumers shop for the cheapest Botox, they should consider placing more value on the service and reputation of the one doing the treatment.


Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Is It Illegal for Doctors to Purchase from Canada?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I am not sure whether it is legal practice or not but good practice would be to purchase Botox through Allergan (the company that makes Botox).

Botox from Canada ?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Although it is illegal to transport medicine for human use across national and state lines, there is probably little chance of prosecution by authorities. The real danger comes from adulterated "Botox" or Botox that was not kept adequately refigerated or frozen during transportation, hence may be just not effective or weaker than Botox obtained through Allergan distribution within the USA. Always be wary of pricing that looks to good to be true, and always ask how many units you were given, not how many syringes were used, since Botox can be diluted to improve profit margins.

Maurice P. Sherman, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon

Botox fromn Canada

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

It is my understanding that US doctors are not allowed to purchase Botox from outside the country eventhough it is probably the same product.

It is Illegal to Purchase BOTOX

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

It is illegal for any US practioner (MD, PA, RN etc.) to purchase Allergan BOTOX from sources outside the US,  have it shipped to them  in the US and then inject into patients.  Each vial of Allergan BOTOX has a serial/lot  number  and a hologram.  These can be used to determine if the BOTOX was originally sold within the US or outside of the US.  If you are concerned about the legitimacy of the BOTOX Cosmetic that you are recieving you should ask to see the vial and record the lot number and contact ALLERGAN.

Christopher Tolan, MD
Saint Paul Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Yes it is illegal...

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Obtaining Botox from Canada for injection in the US is illegal as the foreign drug has not been approved by the FDA, even though it has the same name.    Although many of these companies do sell legitimate Botox, the FDA has no control over those substances that have been imported by a physician.  The public and the doctor purchasing foreign Botox have no way of knowing if it is the real drug.  It's best to deal with the doctors that purchase Botox from Allergan in the US. 

Mikel Lo, MD
Tucson Oculoplastic Surgeon

Botox from "Canada"

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Every week our office gets a fax about how we can obtain low cost Botox from Canada.  There are a few problems with this.  One does not know if this is legitimate Botox, or counterfeit from China or Turkey.  There have been incidents of this. Further, if there was an issue with the Botox, (not working, etc).  Allergan, (the company that makes Botox), will not stand behind it.  I have also been advised that importation of Botox across the border is illegal.  We see ads in the back of local fitness magazines for ridiculously low prices, (below Allergan cost).  We don't know how they are doing this, but it concerns us that patients could get hurt.  Please go to a legitimate practitioner that uses the real Botox.  Cheap usually turns out to be more expensive in the end, with revisions or corrections.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.