Posted by admin on March 6, 2012
A vial of Botox usually contains 100 units of Botulinum toxin type A. Doctors purchase Botox formula by the vial which costs them approximately $400-500, however most don’t charge the patient based on the costs of a vial. Rather, the per-unit pricing is applied. Cosmetic surgeons will order vials in bulk. Each vial can treat approximately one to four successive patients, depending on the number of units each patient needs.
How much do doctors make on a vial?
Based on a clinic’s unit pricing structure, a vial would cost the patient around $1,000 to $1,800 (assuming the average unit pricing of $10-18). Since a vial costs approximately $400-500 wholesale, this would indicate a gross profit of around $600-1,300 on each vial. However, this is not a true indication of how much physicians actually profit from each vial of Botox.
Once a vial is opened it needs to be used up within a few hours. This can make it quite difficult for doctors to use up all of the formula. So if you only require say 40 units for your treatment, the doctor risks not selling the remaining 60 units if the next patient cancels their appointment. This is why the unit prices are so expensive, since they cover the cost of consultation, overhead expenses and excess formula remaining in the vial. Also, this is why doctors will book successive Botox appointments and will charge a patient who fails to turn up without on time cancellation.
Where do doctors get the Vials from?
Doctors and plastic surgeons source their Botox from authorized suppliers of the manufacturer, Allergan Inc. The product often comes in two sizes, Botox 100IU or 50IU. Genuine Allergan products can only be sold by licensed facilities to the physicians. Of course, since they are essentially a wholesaler, the suppliers often offer a discount where the product is purchased in bulk. For example the wholesale cost may end up being as low as $370 per vial where the clinic buys over a certain number of vials.
If a doctor’s unit pricing is very low (around $5-7 each), they may be buying Botox vials from overseas. These may not be genuine Botox products so you need to be careful when consulting a cheap doctor. This is not to say that all discounted prices represent Botulinum toxin from dodgy suppliers, the clinic may just be having a promotion and bearing a very thin profit margin as a promotional expense to gain new patients.
Can I buy a Vial of Botox?
There are websites online which offer individual consumers the opportunity to buy their own vials of Botox. The prices range between $150 and $350 per vial. This is very disturbing since Botox is only legally allowed to be sold to and administered by doctors. You should be very weary of anyone selling online Botox vials. They are not likely to be genuine Botox products and even if they were, how are you going to dilute the formula properly and administer the injections correctly? If you’re considering buying your own vial of Botox, forget it. It’s dangerous and you are most likely to regret it. If you’re desperate for wrinkle reduction, just pay the price for a qualified professional. If a doctor can get the treatment wrong, imagine what kind of results you can get doing the injections yourself. Buying your own formula is simply not worth the risk.