Doctor sentenced to prison for injecting fake Botox

April 16, 2010 12:14:18 PM PDT
A local physician has been sentenced to 5 1/2 months in prison for injecting patients with a fake Botox product. Dr. Gayle Rothenberg, who specialized in providing image enhancement services, was also ordered to pay $98,426 in restitution to her patients. As a condition of her three years of supervised release, she is prohibited from seeking reinstatement of her medical license.

Rothenberg was convicted of misbranding of a drug while being held for sale and making false statements to an agent of the U.S. government after pleading guilty to both offenses. Rothenberg and Saul Gower, a local attorney and Rothenberg's former husband, operated The Center for Image Enhancement, which has been closed since 2007.

She was indicted in 2007 for ordering and administering a drug called Botulinum Toxin Type A that was labeled with the warning "For research purposes only, not for human use." Rothenberg admitted that despite the warning, she injected more than 170 patients with the substance and represented to patients that they were receiving Botox Cosmetic, a drug approved for human use by the FDA to treat facial wrinkles.

Rothenberg also admitted she promoted and advertised that she specialized in treating facial wrinkles with Botox Cosmetic, even though she intentionally stopped ordering it because of a price increase in January 2004. At that time, she began ordering the unapproved drug because it was half the price of Botox Cosmetic.

Gower pleaded guilty in 2008 to misbranding of a drug while being held for sale and making false statements to an agent of the U.S. government, then cooperated with the government and testified against his former wife at her trial. He is currently serving a four-year term of probation and was ordered to pay $98,426 in restitution to patients and a fine of $1,000. Gower also has to perform 300 hours of community service.


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