A group of MPs are calling for Botox and fillers to become prescription-only

Photo credit: Anna Efetova - Getty Images

Photo credit: Anna Efetova – Getty Images

  • An investigation into non-surgical cosmetic treatments (such as dermal fillers and botox) leads to 17 new recommendations from a cross-party group of MPs

  • Recommendations include recommendations of mandatory training for practitioners and a suggestion that fillers become prescription-only

  • Comparing the aesthetics industry to a “wild west”, MP Carolyn Harris has condemned a lack of regulation in botox, fillers and other cosmetic procedures

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Beauty, Aesthetics and Wellbeing has criticised the government for failing to keep up with an explosion of demand for non-surgical cosmetic procedures like fillers and botox.

This report comes after Cosmopolitan UK’s shocking report into unregulated procedures and filler up-selling in the UK.

Labour MP and inquiry co-chairwoman Carolyn Harris referred to the industry as a “wild west”, adding “We have people who are selling training courses which are not worth the paper they are written on. We have practitioners who are destroying the industry’s reputation by practising completely unqualified and we have victims who are scarred for life.”

The report into the field highlighted vastly unregulated training courses and clinicians and “fragmented, obscure and out of date” regulatory processes. In response, the group has shared 17 suggestions for cleaning up the industry, which include the roll-out of a national government-backed licensing scheme, advertising restrictions for dermal fillers, the restriction of fillers to prescription-only contexts and more.

The suggestions included three additional measures on the subject of ethics and mental health, which included psychological screening to protect patients and greater education to enable clinicians to spot at-risk individuals.

Patient Safety Minister Nadine Dorries has confirmed that she will review the APPG’s report – meaning that the recommendations could, at some point, become legislation.

This news comes after the Queen approved legislation banning under-18s from receiving both Botox and fillers in the UK, back in April of this year.

The “Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Act”
prevents anyone under the age of 18 to access either procedure. And, according to a spokesperson for the Conservatives, even ‘medically necessary’ Botox or fillers will only be able to take place in the presence of “a doctor, registered medical practitioner, or a health professional”.

The UK has seen a general shift in attitude towards fillers and Botox both in the celebrity world and for everyday consumers, and wariness surrounding the availability of procedures to children and young teenagers. According to analysis by the Department for Health, 41,000 botulinum toxin procedures may have been carried out on under-18s in 2020 and more than 29,300 dermal filler procedures may have been performed on under-18s since over the past four years.

The Bill was introduced by MP Laura Trott MP over a year ago, back in January 2020 – and quickly gained cross-party support in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

“No child needs cosmetic Botox or fillers,” Trott told a spokesperson in response to the ruling, which will eliminate what she called “the dangerous and unnecessary procedures which can ruin children’s lives.”

Trott feels the development is a “big step forward in protecting young people, particularly women, from unscrupulous providers.”

The Bill, will be officially enshrined in law today is likely not to come into full force until Autumn 2021, in order to allow businesses the time to become familiar with the new rules and to train staff.

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