A large Albany, NY plastic surgery group has pleaded guilty in federal court to felony misbranding of a drug. The Plastic Surgery Group, a well-known association of seven board-certified plastic surgeons, pleaded guilty to using a non-FDA approved TRI-toxin on its patients seeking treatments with BOTOX® for facial wrinkles. During the time period of February 2004 until December, 2004, approximately 150 patients were injected with the unapproved substance, believing they were being treated with BOTOX®.
The group, whose members include Dr. Douglas Hargrave, Dr. E. Scott Macomber, Dr. Steven Lynch, Dr. John Noonan, Dr. William DeLuca, Jr., Dr. Jeffrey Rockmore and Dr. Susan Gannon, was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $106,686, and a fine of $200,000, in connection with it's plea of guilty to one felony count of misbranding drugs. Additionally, Doctors De Luca, Hargrave, Rockmore, Lynch and Noonan were sentenced to probation with community service, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $106,686, as well as a fine of $5,000. The group's practice administrator, Peter M. Slattery, and RN Susan F. Knott, were also sentenced and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $106,686, and fines in the amount of $1,000 and $500, respectively. Drs. Macomber and Gannon were not individually charged.
We see the use of non-approved toxins and fillers in South Florida, New York and New Jersey all the time. However, it is unusual to see plastic surgeons involved. Usually the people serving up non-approved injectables are non-physicians from other countries. Consumers need to be aware of this practice and seek appropriate providers for their aesthetic care.