Nurse: Doctor injected patients with fake Botox, injection meant for animals

Posted at 7:02 PM, Oct 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-10 22:02:02-04

A local nurse says she uncovered an ugly truth while working at a local medical spa.

After six months at her dream job, Sheila became worried when she heard the FDA paid the spa a visit.

"Once I noticed the difference in packaging, I started thinking that was strange," said Sheila.

According to Sheila, she looked in the freezer and was shocked by what she discovered.

"I saw Botox that would come in bubble wrap. The FDA-approved Botox comes in dry ice," said Sheila.

She said she discovered nearly all of the Botox was fake. Sheila said the fake Botox has the right brand name Allergan, but something was missing -- an Allergan hologram on the vial.

"It worries me a lot because I don't even know what's in the vial; I have no idea," said Sheila.

Last year, the FDA warned about counterfeit Botox surfacing in clinics. Sheila believes her bosses knew what they were getting.

Sheila also showed 10News a photo that she took of a bottle for B12 injections that someone had taken a Sharpie to. She showed 10News a photo of what the bottle is supposed to look like.

Under the ink it reads "For animal use only." It was a bottle Sheila said the doctor used to inject patients.

She said when a patient complained about a cheek infection from a filler, she also looked at that stock.

"I realized that was counterfeit as well," said Sheila.

Sheila said she confronted her bosses in August, telling them she would no longer do any Botox injections. They fired her the next day.

Sheila is planning a wrongful termination lawsuit, and she said she contacted the FDA and handed over all the evidence she gathered.

Because the FDA has yet to confirm an official investigation, 10News is not naming the clinic.

"The problem is we have doctors playing the victim and not playing by the rules because it's going cost them money. The problem is those rules are there to protect people," said Sheila's attorney Dan Gilleon.

"It's disappointing that a doctor who is supposed to look out for a patient's best interests was more concerned about his self-interest. The fakes likely added up to several extra thousand dollars a month," said Sheila.

The FDA says fake Botox has -- in some cases -- caused temporary paralysis.

Sheila suggests becoming your own advocate by asking the nurse or doctor to get the Botox from the vial while in front of you and to look for the hologram.