The World Health Organization classifies counterfeit medical products under three categories: substandard, unlicensed or unregistered, or falsified. When you purchase a medical product from a reputable doctor or surgeon, they have to have approval from the FDA. The FDA passes a rigorous test to ensure that these products meet a certain standard for your safety and wellbeing. However, there is a likelihood that if you buy medical products elsewhere, you could be bargaining for something else.

Different Types of Counterfeit Medical Products

Some people think that by shopping online for these specific products, they will be able to cut cost. Unfortunately, what they don’t realize is that there is a high chance that these products may be counterfeit. Often times, these faulty medical products or drugs can actually do more harm than good. These are the different types of classifications of counterfeit medical products:
  • Substandard - "authorized" medical products that have failed to meet specifications or quality standards.
  • Unlicensed/Unregistered - have not been approved or evaluated by the National Regulatory Authority.
  • Falsified - fraudulently and deliberately misrepresented products that imitate real products composition, source, and identity.

Why Do Counterfeit Medical Products Pose Such Dangerous Health Consequences for Consumers?

If products are not approved by the FDA, there is a chance that they could be counterfeit. Sadly, counterfeit medical products don’t just end with skin products. Counterfeit Botox injections, breast implants, and even equipment used to perform liposuction all carry extreme health risks. This is due to the following:
  • Contains various quantities of an original, active ingredient
  • Completely different active or toxic ingredients
  • Manufacturer's data on package labeling may be forged
  • Manufactured under conditions in noncompliance practices
  • Improperly stored or transported
Fake, online pharmacies that allow you to purchase prescription medications without a physician's prescription or those that offer medications or other medical products at ridiculously cheap prices should be telling signs of counterfeit medical products.

Complications Involving Counterfeit Breast Implants

Getting breast implants from a cosmetic surgeon with an unrealistic price is a sign this surgeon may be using inferior or counterfeit breast implants. Counterfeit breast implants have been known to cause one or more of the following complications:
  • Calcification or calcium lumps developing under your skin
  • Unevenness or asymmetry of breasts
  • Deflation or leakage of silicone and other implant fluids
  • Infections
  • Swollen lymph nodes (lymphedema)
  • Implant rupture
  • Visibility of the implant through your skin
Breast implant silicone must be of superior quality to prevent leaking of silicone out of implants. Recently, cases of breast implant manufacturers illegally cutting FDA-approved silicone with cheaper, industrial silicone, came to light. Industrial silicone is much less expensive than medical-grade silicone, but it is harder to recognize because a complex chemical analysis is needed to detect inferior silicone.

How to Avoid Counterfeit Medical Products

Avoid the negative consequences that these faulty products by asking your doctor about specific products. Dr. Lawler performs cosmetic surgery procedures using only FDA-approved medical products and equipment to ensure there is little to no risk to a patient's health. Although extremely rare, a few people may experience allergic reactions to plastic surgery substances that, while not life-threatening, may require prompt medical attention. Stop by Lawler Centre in the month of June to learn how to avoid these products and to catch our sale to help promote the awareness of counterfeit medical products. All skin-care and make-up products are 15% off, while select make-up will be marked off, up to 50% off. Latisse will also be 10% off for this month only while supplies last.    

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