Warnings On Unlicensed Toxins

By Florence Goulbourne

In recent years, Toxins have become a global phenomenon. Earning the title of the most common cosmetic procedure performed worldwide. With an estimated 2 million injection procedures per year in the UK alone, Anti-Wrinkle Injections have unsurprisingly become the most popular, non-invasive cosmetic procedure as reported by The American Society of Plastic Surgeons. This treatment in particular works to treat wrinkles and deep lines by paralysing and/or relaxing the surrounding muscles.  However, with the demand for this procedure comes the demand for cheaper alternatives of reputable and well-known Toxin brands. An article recently published by The Times investigated ‘Black Market Botox’ and the use of unlicensed Toxins being distributed in the UK. For reference, if a Toxin is unlicensed – there is no guarantee that it meets the quality, safety and effectiveness standards required in the UK. This can endanger the health and welfare of patients undergoing treatment and may lead to serious and potentially dangerous repercussions.  

With Botulinum Toxins becoming increasingly popular, we warn both patients, and practitioners to stay vigilant when it comes to the purchase of non-regulated products. However, buying licenced Toxins sold from reputable pharmacies such as Fox Pharma, for example, can help to reduce the potentially life-changing implications of unregulated Toxins.  These implications can include botched results and are prone to the potential risk of threatening side effects due to poor technique or incorrect usage. With Botulinum Toxins, in particular, the risks of these neurotoxins are an excessive paralysis of the muscle – resulting in a slightly distorted result. However, having a skilled and knowledgeable practitioner using licensed products can minimise these risks.  

Considering the rise in popularity and patient satisfaction with Toxins, it’s to no surprise the advancements of these treatments. Here at Fox Pharma, we are an accredited, trustworthy, and reputable pharmacy that sells pharmaceuticals to qualified professionals. This includes Botulinum Toxins (also known as Anti-Wrinkle Injections) where we require a prescription from a registered UK prescriber before it can be dispatched. We supply a wide range of Toxins for aesthetic indication including renowned brands such as Azzalure, Bocouture and Xeomin.  Toxins should always be purchased from a trustworthy pharmacy, such as Fox Pharma, to guarantee the product have undergone stringent safety tests. Purchasing from a creditable pharmacy allows practitioners to stay rest assured that their medical products are licenced and safe to use on patients.  

Online pharmacies, including Fox Pharma, have risen so rapidly in prominence over the past decade with online pharmacies providing a simpler solution and service to aesthetic products. However, the popularity of online pharmacies has brought with it the inevitable influx of untrustworthy and disreputable aesthetic traders attempting to sell counterfeit and unlicensed products to vulnerable practitioners.  

It should be reinforced that Toxins bought from sites like these can have very harmful repercussions. Practitioners and distributers can also decipher which unregulated aesthetic traders are legitimate by doing in-depth investigations of their websites. 

Here are some dangers of buying unlicensed Toxins and other aesthetic products from unregulated aesthetic traders: 

  • Unlicensed Toxins may contain different active ingredients to those advertised, which could be harmful to the patient. 
  • On the other hand, unlicensed Toxins may contain no active ingredient and therefore, not work at all. 
  • Illegitimate aesthetic products may have the wrong combination or concentration of active ingredients, which could be harmful and potentially dangerous. 
  • Rogue aesthetic traders may have purchased medication from manufacturers with little regard for patient safety. 

Moreover, various warning signs point to unregulated aesthetic traders and aesthetic distributors including red flags such as: 

  • Being able to purchase prescription-only medication without consultation or without submitting the correct or no documents at all. 
  • Not being given the option to speak to a registered pharmacist or healthcare professional.  
  • No listing for certification, licensing, or regulation details.  
  • Cheap prices. 
  • Not being asked for any medical information before buying the products such as certificated for training or medical professional qualifications like a GPhC number for supplying.  

If you are looking for a reputable and trustworthy pharmacy – Fox Pharma makes for the perfect choice.   Here at Fox Pharma, we are a registered pharmacy regulated by the GPhC (General Pharmaceutical Council) and our registration number can be found, alongside the registered pharmacy badge, on our website should you need any further information. Moreover, we also provide details of our Superintendent Pharmacist for further reassurance for the practitioner.   All our aesthetic products are sourced and provided by respectable and authorised manufacturers and wholesalers who are WDA (Wholesale Distribution Authorisation) approved with strict regulations by the MHRA (Medicine and Healthcare Regulatory Agency). At Fox Pharma, patient safety is key and one of our main priorities as a commendable pharmacy. We ensure that all prescribers have consulted with the patient face to face which is mandatory before we supply the products to ensure the patient is never put at risk.  Furthermore, we at Fox Pharma pride ourselves on our high professional standards and the strict processes and governance we set in place. We exercise due diligence in responsibly sourcing all products that comply with quality and safety standards and efficacy where patient safety is paramount. 

To summarise, we would always advise practitioners and patients alike to carry out in-depth research before purchasing Toxins and other medical products online. This is to ensure that those within the aesthetics industry are kept protected and overall, the patient is certain their procedure meets all stringent standards. 

Following the new legislation, as the industry expands, Fox Pharma continues to meet all requirements of a reputable and credible pharmacy to ensure  ‘public protection’ within the aesthetics industry. 

For a pharmacy, you can trust, shop licensed and authorised aesthetic supplies at Fox Pharma.

By Florence Goulbourne

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