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Suspicious Gray Market Products

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A doctor called me today asking me to match a price that he found online for a self-etching self-adhesive resin cement.  After a little searching, I was able to determine that this product was being sold on a well known discount site that presents offers from multiple vendors.  The doctor had purchased products from this site in the past, saw a low price, and wanted to make a large purchase to save a bunch of money on a product he really likes.

This happens a lot, and I get it.  If you can get a product cheaper, why wouldn’t you?  I mean, it’s gotta be the same product, right?  Unfortunately, not always.  I’m sure that many times the products that are available to purchase from these sites are perfectly safe to use, but it’s naive to think that all of them are.  And the tough question is: how can you know when a product is safe and when it is not?

In this case, the situation looks pretty fishy.  The product is being sold by a vendor called TradealZ, and has an expiration date of October 2016.  Add to this the fact that the packaging in the photo is of a previous formulation of the product, and it’s a pretty good bet that this product was initially sold by the manufacturer more than a year ago.

A simple Google search reveals that TradealZ is a Florida Ficticious Name.  The company behind TradealZ is another company called “Megadental International LLC” and is run by an ownership team that also runs “Meritrade Holdings, LLC” and “Megafashion LLC”, all of which operate out of Miami.  It took me less than 4 minutes and a strong wifi connection to discover this, but I am betting that few dentists invest even that much time when looking to stock up on cement.

It would be irresponsible of me to state definitively that this cement was sold overseas, tossed in the same hot shipping container that “Megafashion LLC” stored their counterfeit purses, loaded onto a ship that crossed the ocean, and sat in customs for 2 weeks before it was stored in a garage and posted online for you to purchase…but you must admit that it’s also irresponsible to deny the possibility.

We asked the question earlier, “How can you know when it’s safe and when it’s not?” And the answer is obvious.  Purchase your dental materials from an authorized distributor that you trust.  It’s the right thing to do for you, your practice, and for your patients.

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