Investigation exposes injection of unlicensed botulinum toxin

04 Feb 2022

Action has been called by industry associations following an undercover investigation which exposed non-healthcare professionals injecting unlicensed botulinum toxin products.

UK newspaper The Times published the report, in which practitioners with no professional medical qualifications used social media to target women and girls, suggesting their treatments were safe and would enhance their looks. The report claimed that many of the products used had not undergone safety checks in Britain.

The Joint Council of Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) believes that there should be national, mandatory education and training standards for all practitioners in the industry. It is also calling for a framework of statutory regulation to ensure that practitioners who cannot meet the required standards for safe and effective practice will not be able to practise legally.

Professor David Sines, chair and registrar of the JCCP, said, “After discussion with practitioners, consumers, patients, stakeholders and politicians, we are calling for the Government to immediately introduce legislation to regulate the non-surgical aesthetic sector in the UK. As a starting point, I would urge all Parliamentarians to support the amendment that the JCCP and others have tabled to the Health and Care Bill. The Bill is currently progressing through Parliament and would introduce a mandated licensing regime for the more invasive cosmetic treatments and make it an offence for someone to practice without a license.”

Furthermore, the British College of Aesthetic Medicine (BCAM) believes all injectable treatments should be carried out only by qualified healthcare professionals who can prescribe and have the ability to deal with complications if they arise.

BCAM president Dr Uliana Gout said, “The College strongly feels that this investigation has exposed a practice that we know is going unchecked and is putting members of the public at huge risk. BCAM is profoundly concerned about potentially life-changing injuries from the use of these illegal fake products and the misuse of genuine products by non-healthcare professionals. Immediate government action is needed in this virtually unregulated sector to protect the public from serious harm by limiting the use of these products exclusively to regulated healthcare professionals.”


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