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UK Government recognises need for better regulation of non-surgical cosmetic treatments

Concerns over the regulation of non-surgical treatments, such as Botulinum toxin and filler injections, are receiving increased Government scrutiny, following a discussion of the issue on topical debate programme Prime Minister’s Questions at the start of the year

MP for South Leicestershire Alberto Costa is spearheading the campaign to bring the issue to the Government’s attention after being contacted by constituent Rachael Knappier, who experienced severe complications following a lip filler treatment by a beauty therapist at a ‘Botox party’.

Costa said it was “beyond belief” that a foreign substance could be injected by someone with no medical expertise. “As MPs we have a duty to protect the health and safety of our consumers, so allowing them to make informed choices in respect of seeking treatment from professional beauticians. It is not the case of why people are having it done. It is that we need to regulate what is being done,” he said.

Prime Minister Theresa May said: “We recognise that this growth in non-surgical treatments does increase the need for consumer protection. We are currently working with stakeholders to strengthen the regulation and we are committed to increasing the safety of these procedures in a number of ways.

“For example, better training, robust qualifications for practitioners and clear information where people can make an informed decision about their care. We would urge anyone who is looking to have a cosmetic procedure to take the time to find a reputable, safe and qualified practitioner who is subject to statutory regulation or on a voluntary accredited register.”
In a subsequent parliamentary debate attended by Costa, Knappier and Safety in Beauty founder Antonia Mariconda, Jackie Doyle-Price, parliamentary under-secretary of state for mental health and suicide prevention, admitted that the Government had “some way to go” to making sure that all those administering non-surgical treatments such as injectables are performing treatments to high standards.

Knappier, who required urgent medical attention after dermal filler was injected into an artery in her lip, said: “We need to do so much more in terms of public education to make sure consumers fully appreciate that there are risks with injecting things into one’s face and that they make sure someone doing that has the appropriate qualifications.”

“In wishing to regulate this sector we do not want to undermine its dynamism and its competitiveness. What we really need to do is make sure that consumers are properly educated so that they can make informed choices about where they seek treatments.”

Doyle-Price said: “We need to work closely with the JCCP so we can develop hallmarks for people to look for so they can be sure they’re obtaining a treatment from a regulated practitioner.”

As of May 2020, all dermal fillers will be regulated as medical devices under the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.