In a secret recording by the BBC at a Harley Street skin clinic, the clinic’s director was filmed describing how prescriptions for Botulinum Toxin could be obtained in the names of friends and family. The drug would then be stored, ready to be used by nurses to treat walk-in patients without needing to obtain a prescription first.
The nurses would instead telephone the doctor for a remote prescription before injecting patients with the ‘stored’ Botox.
If, for any reason, the doctor could not be reached before treatment, the nurses would administer the Botox injections anyway – with the doctor phoning patients afterwards.
Though remote prescription is not illegal at present, administering Botox without a prescription is against the law. It also raises concerns about patient safety.
In the light of the investigation, the General Medical Council (GMC) has said that new rules will soon be published, making it illegal for doctors to remotely prescribe injectable cosmetic medicines, including Botox.
Nurses who do not hold the V300 prescribing qualification will be required to work directly with a doctor or dentist in order to issue prescriptions.