MPs put pressure on UK government to address lack of injectables regulations

By Julia Wray | Published: 23-Jul-2021

A dedicated Parliamentary Group published a report following a year-long inquiry into the lack of legal framework around treatments

UK MPs are calling on the government to address what they term a ‘complete absence’ of regulations over botox, filler and other aesthetic non-surgical cosmetics treatments.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Beauty, Aesthetics and Wellbeing (the APPG), chaired by Carolyn Harris MP and Judith Cummins MP, published its final report into the issue on Monday, following a year-long inquiry in response to an explosion in the popularity and availability of injectable aesthetic treatments.

The report highlighted a complete lack of legal framework of standards and qualifications around such treatments, which leaves consumers at risk and has undermined the industry’s ability to develop, according the the authors.

The APPG investigated practitioner standards and qualifications, the case for a registration of practitioners or licensing, ethics and mental health considerations, and issues around advertising and social media.

While the Group acknowledged that there is much good practice from practitioners in the beauty and medic industries, it also flagged cases of poor practice from both.

The aim, said the APPG, is to ensure all practitioners gain the appropriate training and can prove their competence to deliver advanced aesthetic treatments.

Seventeen recommendations were made for the UK government to plug this regulatory gap, which include:

  • Setting national minimum standards for practitioner training;
  • Mandate practitioners hold a regulated qualification in line with national standards;
  • Legislate to introduce a national licensing framework;
  • Make fillers prescription only;
  • Develop and mandate psychological pre-screening of customers;
  • Extend the ban on under-18s receiving botox and fillers to other invasive aesthetic treatments;
  • Place advertising restrictions on dermal fillers and other invasive aesthetic treatments;
  • Require social media platforms to do more to curb misleading ads and posts promoting these treatments.

“For too long there have been next to no limits on who can carry out aesthetic treatments, what qualifications they must have, or where they can administer them,” said the APPG co-chairs Harris and Cummins.

“We launched this inquiry as we were deeply concerned that as the number of advanced treatments on the market continues to grow, the regulation remains fragmented, obscure and out of date which puts the public at risk.

“We were also particularly concerned about the advertising and social media promotion of these treatments and how to make sure vulnerable people, such as children and those at risk from mental ill-health, are protected.”

They continued: “We strongly urge the government to implement the recommendations in our report and to take action to improve to improve the situation for the benefit of the industry and public safety. Maintaining the status quo is simply not an option.”

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