WHO warns of falsified botulinum toxin product Dysport

Falsified copies of Ipsen's Dysport – an injectable product used to treat cervical dystonia and spasticity as well as wrinkles – have been found in the UK, Poland, Türkiye, Kuwait and Jordan, according to a World Health Organization alert.

Dysport and other botulinum toxin products like AbbVie's Botox are a target for counterfeiters, and are considered to pose a particularly high risk to the public as they are administered by intramuscular injection, so could cause serious infections if not produced in sterile conditions as well as other potential side effects.

The WHO notes that Ipsen has confirmed that all of the products covered in its alert are falsified "on the basis that they deliberately/fraudulently misrepresent their identity and source."

It reports that the batch numbers and manufacturing expiry dates on the packaging are forged, and there are discrepancies in the packaging languages, printing errors on cartons, and the types of vial used, which reveal they are fake.

The batch numbers included U14534, U05804, U01975, and U12523, with expiry dates including 11/2023, 03/2023, 12/2022, 07/2024, and 04/2023. The packaging language for the counterfeits is either English or Turkish.

Counterfeit Botox with Turkish language packaging has also been discovered in some markets, including the US.

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