Date
22 August 2017
Illegal Botox injection services are sprouting up online, prompting Hong Kong health officials to issue a warning. Photo: Bloomberg
Illegal Botox injection services are sprouting up online, prompting Hong Kong health officials to issue a warning. Photo: Bloomberg

Health officials warn about illegal online Botox offers

Hong Kong health officials are warning about the booming online sales of affordable but potentially illegal Botox injections.

The warning came after reports a 15-year-old girl spent HK$8,000 (US$1,031) for the treatment from an unregistered doctor, Sing Tao Daily reported Monday. 

The procedure, which included Botox injections to her nose, face and lower jaw, took place in a hotel room without emergency equipment, it said.

The Department of Health said it has not received any information about the incident but urged the public to report any suspicious activities to the authorities.

Illegal possession or sale of Botox carries a maximum fine of HK$100,000 and imprisonment of up to two years.

The unauthorized practice of medicine, including giving injections, could put offenders in jail for up to three years on top of a HK$100,000 fine, the report said. 

A Sing Tao reporter who responded to an online advertisement while posing as a client was told a rhinoplasty or nose job and whitening injections done by a mainland doctor would cost 500 yuan (US$80).

Medicines would be about HK$3,000, about one-third the normal price, the report said.

The reporter was subsequently directed to a hotel where the 15-year-old girl had been awaiting treatment.

A female doctor who claimed to be practising in a Shenzhen hospital told the girl she needed five shots to her face.

More than a dozen types of drugs, including a South Korea-made Botox named Meditoxin, were given to the girl.

William Chui, chairman of the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Hong Kong, said Meditoxin is not a Hong Kong-approved drug.

He said the doctor who administered it is liable to criminal charges for unauthorised practice of medicine and possession of illegal drugs.

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