“The Cosmetics Industry Bill” by Tracy Meharg
by Tracy Meharg, Nurse Practioner at Cosmetica Training
With all the negative publicity that DIY fillers or fillers being administered by untrained and unqualified people are receiving in recent months, it seems that the UK is surely going to be registering all non-surgical providers with a governing body to be known as OffCos.
To enable this registration to be compulsory, legislative changes are necessary which will make it illegal for non-qualified injectors to administer Botox (more info here) or dermal fillers (detailed article here) or any other form of cosmetic treatment to the public. This is done through presenting a Bill to the House of Commons and the House of Lords prior to a Royal Assent being agreed. The current Bill details the minimum standard required and is going through the various stages of Parliament. It proposes a new law to stipulate who can inject and the strict standards that are required to maintain the necessary registration to practice aesthetics in the UK. If this Bill is passed it is proposed that it will be in force 12 months from the Royal Assent being granted.
How will the new standards affect the industry? Those practitioners who do not meet the minimum standard of qualifications will not be allowed to inject, hopefully restricting the risk posed to the public. The premises utilised will also be regulated, which could potentially mean an end to injectors travelling to their client’s house to administer treatment or may prevent treatments from being administered in non-clinical environments.
In the event of practitioners or premises not maintaining the required standards of registration, OffCos would be able to revoke their registration meaning they will not be able to continue to treat clients until they potentially meet such standards once more.
Another major restriction will be placed on the advertising of surgical and non-surgical services. It is believed that the public is being enticed into treatment by companies using glamorous images of celebrities suggesting they want to experience their lifestyle, rather than having a genuine need for treatment. Such advertisements will be banned. OffCos are trying to place a blanket ban on advertising services suggesting:
This may pose a few issues with how registered injectors will promote their business, although current guidance available today is contradictory. Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority (MHRA) stipulate that Botox and other POMs cannot be advertised to the public; instead more generic phrases such as anti-wrinkle treatments should be used. With particular reference to websites, the word Botox cannot appear on the homepage although it may appear on subsequent pages if the website user chooses to access further pages. However, we have recently heard from an injector in Newcastle who has been contacted by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) suggesting that POMs cannot be referenced by name in not only any advertising but also on any page of a website, which contradicts the advice given by MHRA. However, rule 12.11 as stipulated by CAP, states that Botox can be advertised if the treatment is within its product license.