Break-In Bad: What's With All These Botox Burglaries?

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You’d be excused for thinking a string of Botox thefts in Sugar Land, Texas are an isolated case. An outlandish factoid quickly forgotten with a smirk. But, Sugar Land is only the most publicized incident in a rising epidemic of medical spa thefts. It’s time to face the facts: people are willing to steal Botox and other beauty drugs. In a sense, it’s a testament to the significance of the medical spa industry that people with less-then-legal tendencies are now willing to put their freedom on the line for beauty products, but that doesn’t change the fact they cause real economic harm to businesses.

Take, for example, a heist in Witham, UK. Four men came away with a six-figure supply of Azzalure, a brand-name botulinum toxin drug, after raiding a warehouse in the early hours of the morning. Or, the Houston Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Clinic, who had a woman walk off after racking up over $2,000 dollars in Botox treatment under a fake name. A similar incident happened in Washington, where a woman stepped out of two separate bills totalling $4,500 after receiving treatment with Botox, Voluma face filler and Juvederm. After more than a month of hiding, the woman was later apprehended and charged with three counts of theft in the 2nd degree.

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So where are all these stolen products going? Dr. Jose Rodriguez-Feliz, a plastic surgeon in Florida speculates that they are passed on to buyers in the black market who then either offer Botox injections without a medical license, or self-inject the product. In one case, an unlicensed practitioner injected multiple patients with Botox, resulting in “significant facial deformities” and eight felony charges. Self-injections are not without their own dangers, however. Health effects such as nerve damage, skin necrosis or even blindness have been reported by people who have taken Botox into their own hands. 

If it’s so damaging, why do people insist on injecting themselves? Dana Berkowitz, the author of Botox Nation: Changing the Face of America believes it comes down to a matter of affordability. The average Botox treatment can cost anywhere between $300 - $1,500 depending on how many units of serum are needed and the time taken. However, with the amount of counterfeit or just plain expired product on the black market, it seems like a far safer bet to just pony-up for a medical professional. 

It’s important to do things by the book. Not only when you’re a patient, but more so if you’re a medical spa. That’s where we come in. SpaKinect’s HIPAA-compliant, top rated Good Faith Evaluation program helps your medical spa stay compliant and organized. Find out more today!


Michael Sheen