The perils of parallel imported injectables

As a medical aesthetic clinic, keeping costs low yet fair is vitally important for the survival of our business, especially during these times.

Unfortunately, some aesthetic practices attempt to combat this by engaging in a practice known as ‘parallel importation’, which allows them to save money significantly on legitimate, name-brand drugs by importing them indirectly through other countries at a lower cost.

However, this practice is highly controversial, and partaking of it might end up costing you as a patient a lot more than if you’d simply paid the advised price.

So, if the price for your fillers looks to good to be true, it probably is. And this could be why…

Medical regulations

Here in the United Kingdom, as well as Germany, France, Sweden, and Canada, the government regulates the cost of pharmaceuticals. These measures are designed to prevent drug manufacturers from charging too much for what those governments consider essential medicine, but they also apply to pharmaceuticals (such as Allergan and Merz) that supply certain products for elective procedures, such as those offered by medical aesthetic practices, including botulinum toxin and fillers.

What is Parallel Importing?

Parallel importing is an unauthorized import of non-counterfeit goods into a country. The goods are imported without the express permission of the intellectual property owner (i.e. the manufacturer).

In the parallel part of the import, it is a distributor, wholesaler, or retailer involved in bringing a reduced price patented, copyrighted, or trademarked product into a country that it was not originally sold into through the correct processes.