How much is the Unit of Botox?

I got this great question today: “how much is the unit” of Botox?

I guess I get this question every day.  For some reason – I have trouble answering it with just one sentence.  Maybe I could say that the unit of Botox is free!  Wow!  But we charge a certain price to have the units injected by our Surgeons, etc.  Thus we charge a certain price per injected-unit.   So I really think the question is how much does it cost per unit to have the Botox injected.  I guess it’s obvious that the Botox by itself doesn’t do anything except take up space in my refrigerator.

Here’s the answer I gave today:

Botox in a catalog for Medical Doctors to buy.
Botox in a catalog for Medical Doctors to buy.

Hi! Thank you for asking! I always wonder how to best answer that question of “how much is the unit.” I guess it’s a question on price! But I need to explain that the price per unit and the price-per-unit-which-is-injected are different.  I get my Botox from Allergan USA directly. They charge me about $6 per unit. It is shipped to me on dry ice in 100 unit vials which is stored in my strictly monitored refrigerator. I could also get it from an official Botox medical supplier such as McKesson Medical or Moore Medical and they charge about $7 per unit. There is also a 50 Unit vial which is available and I believe that it costs more per unit.

These vials of 50U or 100U Botox is only at maximal strength for a few hours once reconstituted.  After that, I feel that it weakens in power. When injected at full strength, we charge $12/unit when injected by me as of the writing of this blog. I try to be as efficient as possible with my injection; I like to use the freshest Botox and the least amount possible for maximum effect and duration. Precision placement helps in achieving this goal. Prices vary, even in our office, depending on who’s injecting it. Each practitioner has a different reason for their injection charges. But I’m the main injector at Surgical Artistry. I hope this answer helps!  Please contact us for more info or current info:

To confuse issue even more:

I have received ugly looking faxes – almost every week in fact – which advertise illegal black market Botox from foreign countries which offer Botox at less than $3.50 per unit for “Botox”-injectors to buy.  And to confuse issues even more, there’s Dysport and Xeomin in the USA with Botox-like effects.  And one needs about 3 times the amount of Dysport Units for a similar (not same) result.

Botox is my Violin!

Violin is my Botox
Dr. Calvin Lee on the Violin.

Dr. Calvin Lee as Guest Concertmaster in Taipei, Taiwan


I allude to my post about Dysport vs. Botox.  In the end, I conclude that the injector makes the biggest difference – not the product itself.  Botox is like my violin.  I paraphrase the last part of that link here:

The injector plays the biggest role in the outcome.

It’s the violinist that makes the sound, not the violin.  Just like it’s the surgeon that makes the surgery, not the scalpel.  Thus we can debate on and on regarding which violin to use or which scalpel to use.  As long as the violin is of high quality and the scalpel is too, then the results lay on the shoulders of the artist or surgeon.

Here’s a quote from master violinist, Jascha Heifetz:

After a concert, a member of the audience went up to Jascha Heifetz. He said, “Wow, your violin sounds really great.” Heifetz then held the violin up close to his ear and replied, “Funny, I don’t hear anything.”